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Kardzhali Reservoir

The Kardzhali Reservoir is a reservoir formed by the Kardzhali Dam, situated less than 1 km to the west of the town of Kardzhali in Kardzhali Province, Bulgaria. It is the second largest reservoir by volume in the country.

Kardzhali Dam
Official nameKardzhali Dam
LocationKardzhali / Kardzhali Province, Bulgaria
Coordinates41°38′01″N 25°20′26″E / 41.63361°N 25.34056°E / 41.63361; 25.34056Coordinates: 41°38′01″N 25°20′26″E / 41.63361°N 25.34056°E / 41.63361; 25.34056
PurposePower generation, flood control, water storage, recreation
Construction began1957
Opening date1963
Owner(s)Bulgarian Government
Operator(s)NEK EAD
Dam and spillways
Type of damArch-gravity dam
ImpoundsArda River
Height103.5 m (340 ft)
Length402.89 m (1,321.8 ft)
Elevation at crest331.45 m (1,087.4 ft)
Spillway type4 Spill valves
4 Gates
Spillway capacityValves: 3,100 m3/s (110,000 cu ft/s)
Gates: 880 m3/s (31,000 cu ft/s)
CreatesKardzhali Reservoir
Total capacity539,900,000 m3 (437,700 acre⋅ft)
Catchment area1,882 km2 (727 sq mi)
Surface area16.07 km2 (6.20 sq mi)
Normal elevation324.3 m (1,064 ft)
Power Station
Operator(s)NEK EAD
Hydraulic head93 m (305 ft) maximum
Installed capacity106 MW
Annual generation160 million kWh

The dam was constructed between 1957 and 1963 and was commissioned into service in the year of its completion. The reservoir has water catchment area of 1182 km² and maximum volume of 539.9 million m3. When it is filled to its maximum capacity the reservoir covers are of 16.07 km² and its surface has elevation of 324.3 meters above the sea level. The Hydroelectric Power Plant is situated at the foot of the dam.

The reservoir was recently seeded artificially with European perch. The fish was taken from the Ovcharitsa reservoir.

The first historical moment of the reservoir was in the 1970s, when it was artificially seeded with catfish. Nowadays there are 100 kg representatives. Later, 45,000 carp were introduced into the reservoir as well.


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