IELTS Essay Sample: “benefits from dams vs. anti-dam policies”

Some presume that people receive major benefits from dams, yet others have adopted anti-dam policies.

Discuss both ideas and state your opinion.


 People are at loggerheads over constructing dams. Despite the fact that some concur with the notion of building dams, there are still dissenting voices who have their own compelling arguments regarding the issue. 

 To begin with, those who follow pro-dam policies argue that dams are bound to offer a wide range of socio-economic and environmental benefits including recreation, flood control, water supply and electricity generation. Not only are canoeing, jet skiing and swimming supported by dams, but also communities have dammed up for centuries to help impound floodwater, which then is either released to the river below the dam or stored for other uses like carrying out irrigation projects. The last but not least, dams account for generating 35% of green energy in the world in the form of hydroelectric power.

Nonetheless, others, including I myself, keep asking why colossal budgets should be expended on building dams when there is not enough water to store due to the low rainfall in most parts of the world. Moreover, building dams is likely to be associated with problems, some of which are seepage and evaporation, resulting in a great deal of water wastage. Opponents also refer to statistics issued by the World Commission on Dams that indicate the rate at which dams are built in the world has plunged from almost 1,000 a year in the mid-1970s to about 250 in the early 2000s.

 To conclude, I personally concede dams, though essential sources of water and electricity, are most probably not the optimal solution to alleviate the world’s water crisis that explains why concerted efforts must be made to pull the plug on constructing such structures as failing to do so might create dangerous illusions of water abundance and make a bad situation worse.


Hamid Mollazadeh

Word count: 295

Time: 50’

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