Study of various rivers of Pakistan showed that out of three rivers i.e. Jhelum, Chenab and Indus, the Indus was the only river which had substantial resources available and on which several Dams could be built. Therefore, the Kala Bagh Dam site so located.
The proposed site of the Dam selected on river Indus on 100 miles South West of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.
It is 120 miles (193k.m) downstream of Tarbela and 16 miles (26k.m) upstream from the Jinnah Barrage on the river Indus. The Dam will extend up to Nowshera town on the right Bank of River Indus in the province of NWFP. The reservoir area and the Dam site are located in the administrative districts of Mianwali and Attock in the Punjab and Kohat and Nowshera in NWFP. The reservoir height from sea level is 940 SPD with a catchment area of 110,500 square miles. However the usable storage would be 6.1 MAF. So its maximum height above the sea level 260 feet and the total length estimated to be 11, 000 feet. The overflow spillway capacity is 1, 070, 00 ft.
The project envisages construction of 79 m high rock fill Dam. Hence the project has two spill ways and the right bank for disposal of flood water. On the left bank is the power house which ultimate generation capacity of 3600 M.W.
Kala Bagh Dam Lake will expand for 92 miles up the Indus from the Dam site and 36 miles up the Soar River and about 10 miles up the Kabul River from the Kabul Indus confluence. Hence its highest level of 915, the lake area would be 164 square miles. So total culture-able affected land under the reservoir is 35000 acres, out of which 27500 acres fall under the reservoir and will be permanently acquired, out of this 27500 acres of land, 24500 acres are from Punjab and 300 acres of NWFP.
The Dam site has examined in great detail through a programmed of drilling, sampling and testing. The bed rock of the Dam consists of sandstone, siltstones and clay stones and is similar to that at Mangla Dam. The design of Kala Bagh, therefore, benefits greatly from the experience obtained at Mangla, which completed in 1967 and is functioning very well.
The geology and topography of the reservoir basin have carefully examined and mapped. It found that there is no risk of leakage from the reservoir.