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"A reservoir is an artificial lake. They are constructed first by building a sturdy dam, usually out of cement, earth, rock, or a mixture of all three. Once it has been built, a river is allowed to flow behind the dam and eventually fill it to capacity."

This definition is too specific when we limit a reservoir to artificial lake, and too simplistic in the description of how a dam is built in a flowing river.Gregorydavid 13:56, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Artificial lake is one specific, distinct, and well-known meaning. The current intro, "A reservoir is, most broadly, a place or hollow vessel where something (usually liquid) is kept in reserve..." is confusingly broad in this context. This is an encyclopedia article, not a dictionary definition. Articles on other meanings may be created as appropriate and linked on reservoir (disambiguation). ENeville (talk) 02:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Largest reservoir - Lake Victoria[edit]

What's about Lake Victoria? Soccerman111 07:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

It's the biggest lake in the world, enlarged by a dam and used as reservoir. --Austronaut 14:40, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't Lake Victorie connect to the Nile River. That's a lot of water.Soccerman111 07:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
It's the source, so that's a bit different. Still big, though. — LlywelynII 12:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Also what is the size of most reservoirs. Soccerman111 07:23, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Varies. — LlywelynII 12:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Droughts and reservoirs[edit]

A study shows that because of high rates of evaporation, the smartest way to manage reservoirs may be to allow this water to drain into the ground.[1] 03:24, 19 September 2006 (UTC)Brian Pearson

Largely that depends on local climatic conditions. Certainly for the UK, the annual loss from evaporation is equally matched by the annual gain from direct rainfall.

Oismiffy 19:46, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


Whats that big fuckoff one they built in china recently?

Look at Three Gorges Dam. It'll be mentioned. — LlywelynII 12:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Natural Reservoirs[edit]

The article mentions that reservoirs can be natural, but the article offers no information on those that are natural. Anyone have imput in providing this info? --Bentonia School 11:48, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed: nonsensical. FWIW, text was added by Trevyn at 08:57, 30 November 2006. ENeville (talk) 01:40, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
You're completely off and Trevyn was correct. Reservoir refers to the water being stored. As above, it can apply to natural bodies such as Victoria in certain contexts. Meanwhile, there are many artificial lakes that are not proper reservoirs, as those constructed solely for recreational purposes. — LlywelynII 12:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Reservoirs which provide water to waterways[edit]

There are a couple of types of reservoir which I was about to add:

  • Canal reservoir (feeder reservoir) - built to guarantee the level of water in a canal.
  • Compensation reservoir - built to guarantee the flowrate or supply of water to a natural watercourse which might otherwise be reduced or interrupted by another type of reservoir (e.g. one for drinking water).

On thinking about it, I think these two, and irrigation reservoirs and flood control reservoirs should all be dealt with in a single section, called something like 'Reservoirs controlling waterways' perhaps? --VinceBowdren 21:32, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

artificial lake[edit]

Is this really the correct term?

I'm more familiar with "man-made lake". After all, it's a real lake with real water. It just wasn't formed by the natural forces of geology. Breendix (talk) 19:56, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Change it if you like; they're almost exact synonyms really, though artificial does have a secondary meaning of imitation/simulated which must be what you're thinking of. --VinceBowdren (talk) 00:39, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
They're both fine. One is Latinate, one Germanic. Artificial doesn't solely mean simulated, though: the primary definition is created by artifice, i.e. man-made as opposed to naturally occurring. — LlywelynII 12:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

2010 substantial update[edit]

Having been unhappy with this article for some time, I have started out on an upgrade. This is not a single editor crusade - please join in ! However I am concious that because of my background many of the examples are Welsh and the references often from the UK. I would welcome other examples from across the world and a range of other referencess if anyone has them.  Velela  Velela Talk   19:14, 8 June 2010 (UTC)


I have deleted most of the following para as I cannot locate references for it but I have copied it here in case it can be rescued.

In the United States the normal maximum level of a reservoir lake is called full pool, while the minimum level it can function at is dead pool. The water below this point is also called the dead pool. Full pool may have different levels in summer and winter, or based on the local wet and dry seasons.[citation needed]
Once a reservoir reaches dead pool, it is below the level at which the dam can release it downstream. At this point, the stream-bed beyond the dam goes nearly or completely dry, and electricity production stops. This is also often the point at which intakes for municipal water systems begin to suck air in, and must be extended into deeper water, where stagnant water quality is much poorer. This can be done either permanently with longer pipes, or temporarily with large hoses floated on small barges, such as until a severe drought or dam repairs are over.

 Velela  Velela Talk   17:26, 9 June 2010 (UTC)


Coming back to the definition issue, the current one sucks. Reservoirs are bodies of water whose water is reserved or stored up for use elsewhere. Ideally, it should only describe such bodies, deliberately constructed. Generally, it could also include such bodies as those created as side-effects of dams or even natural bodies such as Victoria if they are being adapted for use as a reservoir of water.

What it ain't is a catch-all that should be getting artificial lake redirected to it. Recreational lakes such as Taiye Lake in old Beijing or Kunming Lake there now are certainly artificial but not reservoirs in any meaningful sense of the word. Their water is only ornamental or for enjoyment on site. Count me in support of any future split of the material currently being covered here. — LlywelynII 12:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

The sturdy damn[edit]

Or just anywhere that "a dam" is used in this article or the arguments in favor of describing a reservoir as a "natural body" of water, make much more sense if a definite article were used, as in THE damned, as no matter how sturdy they are or have been engineered by the minds of foolish men, they always break, at which point The water, or The blood (depending on whether you are among the living or dead) is restored to The People and Places it Naturally belongs to -Dirtclustit (talk) 15:22, 18 September 2014 (UTC)