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The Kama River in the city of Perm
Map of the Volga's watershed with the Kama's watershed highlighted
|• elevation||360 m (1,180 ft)|
|Length||1,805 km (1,122 mi)|
|Basin size||507,000 km2 (196,000 sq mi)|
|• average||4,100 cubic metres per second (140,000 cu ft/s)|
|Progression||Volga→ Caspian Sea|
The Kama (Russian: Ка́ма, IPA: [ˈkamə]; Tatar: Чулман/Çulman; Udmurt: Кам) is a 1,805 kilometres (1,122 mi) long river in Russia. It has a drainage basin of 5,800 square kilometres (2,200 sq mi). It is the longest left tributary of the Volga and the largest one in discharge. At their confluence, in fact, the Kama is even larger than the Volga.
It starts in the Udmurt Republic, near Kuliga, flowing northwest for 200 kilometres (120 mi), turning northeast near Loyno for another 200 kilometres (120 mi), then turning south and west in Perm Krai, flowing again through the Udmurt Republic and then through the Republic of Tatarstan, where it meets the Volga.
Before the advent of railroads, important portages connected the Kama with the basins of the Northern Dvina and the Pechora. In the early 19th-century the Northern Ekaterininsky Canal connected the upper Kama with the Vychegda River (a tributary of the Northern Dvina), but was mostly abandoned after just a few years due to low use.
The Kama featured in the 2013 Russian film The Geographer Drank His Globe Away, in the climactic rapids scene.
Dams and reservoirs
The Kama is dammed at several locations:
- At Perm, by the dam of the Kama Hydroelectric Station, forming the Kama Reservoir;
- At Chaykovsky, by the dam of the Votkinsk Hydroelectric Station, forming the Votkinsk Reservoir;
- At Naberezhnye Chelny, by the dam of the Nizhnekamsk Hydroelectric Station, forming the Nizhnekamsk Reservoir.
The largest tributaries of the Kama are, from source to mouth:
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