The British Dam Society
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Back to Student ZoneKS3/4 Geography Teaching Resource

A New Dam

Explore the planning and construction of a new dam with 11-16s

This suite of five, free downloadable geography lessons for 11–14 and 14–16 year-olds explores the planning and construction of a new dam in a simulated location.

A town announces ambitious plans for expansion and development, but a new dam will be required to ensure a safe, secure water supply. Where should the new dam go? How can the water company balance the needs of different interest groups and the environment?

Detailed lesson plans, student materials and presentation slides allow you to use the lessons ‘off the shelf’ with minimal preparation.

As they consider each step, students explore important geographical themes of growth, development, sustainability and the interactions between people and their environment.

Find out more about the lessons, these teaching opportunities, and how the activities link to your curriculum, in the downloadable [Introduction for Teachers (PDF)].

Please note that the PPT files are docx. Compatible versions (2003) are available in the download all zip file below.


Lessons include:

Lesson 1

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A New Dam - Students must decide on the location for the new dam and reservoir.

Lesson 2

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A Public Consultation - Students identify possible issues and impacts that will need to be addressed.

Lesson 3

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Impacts and Opportunities - Students devise ways to monitor these impacts and make the most of new opportunities.

Lesson 4

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Constructing the Dam - Students select a dam design and manage the effects of construction.

Lesson 5

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Did you Succeed? - Finally, students interpret data to compare ‘real’ impacts and outcomes against predictions.

All Lesson Documents

Download Zip file

Download All - Download all lesson plan PDFs and PowerPoint file in a zip file (also includes PowerPoint 2003 files).



The British Dam Society is an Associated Society of the Institution of Civil Engineers. BDS supports the engineering professions in all technical aspects of dams, and helps to educate the public about their uses and importance.

This resource has been developed in association with EdComs, an educational consultancy that delivers campaigns, strategies and insights to engage young people, parents, consumers, teachers and opinion leaders. EdComs provides market-leading expertise in all areas needed to develop successful initiatives.