The purpose of the dam is for power generation and flood control. The Karun III power generators are connected to the national power network as the peak power generation. With this power plant being operated, with the capacity of 2,280 MW, and an average annual electric power generation of 4,137 GWh, a major portion of the electric power shortage in the country will be met.
The dam is a concrete double arch type, 205 m (673 ft) high from the foundation and 185 m (607 ft) high from the river bed. Its foundation width is 29.5 m (97 ft).
The arch dam design is an ideal one for a dam built in a narrow, rocky gorge to hold back water in a reservoir. Because of the arch shape, the force of the backed up water presses downward against the dam and has the effect of strengthening the dam foundation.