Diamer-Bhasha Dam is an under-construction roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan on 18 October 2011. Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be the highest RCC dam in the world. The dam site is situated near a place called "Bhasha" in Gilgit-Baltistan's Diamer District, hence the name.
Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would (i) produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity through environmentally clean hydropower generation; (ii) store an extra 8,500,000 acre feet (10.5 km3) of water for Pakistan that would be used for irrigation and drinking; (iii) extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years; and (iv) control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods.
It will have a height of 272 meters spillway with fourteen (14) gates each 11.5 m x 16.24 m. The gross capacity of the reservoir will be 8,100,000 acre feet (10.0 km3), with a live storage of 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3). Two (2) underground power houses are being proposed, one on each side of the main dam having six (6) turbines on each side with total installed capacity 4500 MW.
The estimated cost of the project, in 2011, was US $11.19 billion with an estimated completion time of 12 years.
In January 2006, the Government of Pakistan announced the decision to construct 5 multi-purpose storage dams in the country during next 10-12 years. According to the plan, Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was proposed in the first phase.  In November 2008, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council formally approved the project. Council of Common Interests Pakistan, a constitutional body representing the provinces, also approved the construction of the dam. The Prime Minister of Pakistan laid the foundation stone of the project on 18 October 2011.
The cost of the Diamer-Bhahsa dam is $12.6 billion (November,2008) and it will have a storage capacity of 8,100,000 acre feet (10.0 km3). However, it will have a power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts.
An amount of Rs 27.824 billion is required for the acquisition of land and resettlement of the people to be affected in the wake of the construction of the dam. Under the proposed project, Rs 10.76 billion will be spent for the acquisition of agriculture-barren land, tree and nurseries and Rs 1.638 billion to be utilised for properties & infrastructure, Rs 8.8 billion for establishment of nine model villages, Rs 62.119 million for pay & allowances for administrative arrangements, and Rs.17.7 million for contingent administrative expenses. The project also includes an escalation cost of Rs 2.234 billion at the rate of 6 per cent per year for five years and interest of Rs 4.309 billion during the implementation at the rate of 9 per cent.
Detailed drawings of the dam were completed by March 2008 and the ground-breaking ceremony is expected to take place in May 2011.
As of 2012 the project has faced several setbacks due to major sponsors backing out from financing the project.
The project is located on Indus River, about 315 km upstream of Tarbela Dam, 165 km downstream of the Northern Area capital Gilgit and 40 km downstream of Chilas.
Maximum Height: 272 m
Type: roller compacted concrete (RCC)
Cofferdam: Upstream and Downstream
Size: 16.5×15.0 m
Reservoir Level: 1160 m
Min Operation Level Elevation: 1060 m
Gross Capacity: 7,300,000 acre feet (9.0 km3)
Live Capacity: 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3)
Intermediate Level: 08
Low Level: 04
No. of Powerhouses: 02
Total Installed Capacity: 4,500 MW
Location of Powerhouses: one each on right and left side
No. of Generator Units: 08
Capacity/Unit: 560 MW
Average Power Generation; 16,500 GWh
Estimated Cost: US $13 Billion (2011 Estimate)
Purpose and function
The main purpose of the dam is water storage, irrigation and power generation.
Production of 4,500 megawatts of electricity through environmentally clean hydropower generation
Storage of an extra 8,500,000 acre feet (10.5 km3) of water for Pakistan that would be used for irrigation and drinking
Extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years
Control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods
Availability of about 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3) annual surface face water storage for supplementing irrigation supplies during low flow periods
Harnessing of renewable source of clean and cheap energy through installed capacity of 4500 MW
Reduction of dependence on environmentally damaging thermal power, thus saving environment and foreign exchange
Short and long term employment opportunities, particularly to locals, during the construction (15,000 jobs) and operation phase
Creation of massive infrastructure leading to overall socio-economic uplift of the area and standard of living of people
Environmental impact and resettlement
• Villages affected: 31
• Houses affected: 4,100
• Population affected: 35,000
• Agricultural land submerged: 1,500 acres (6.1 km2)
• Area under reservoir: 25,000 acres (100 km2)
• Proposed new settlements: 9 model villages
• Population resettled: 28,000
• New infrastructure, roads, clean water supply schemes, schools, health centres, electricity supply, etc.
• Development of new tourism industry in area around reservoir (including hotels, restaurants, water sports, etc.)
• Development of hitherto non-existent fresh-water fishing industry based on newly created reservoir