The water is used for power generation at the Dehra Power House before being discharged into the Sutlej River, connecting both rivers. The power house was completed around the same time as the dam and has an installed capacity of 990 MW. The change in elevation affords a hydraulic head of 335m. The power house system diverts 9,000 cusecs of Beas waters to the Sutlej Rivers. Diversion of the Beas water has done considerable damage to the towns downstream on Beas River and left a trail of misery to Mandi. In winter, the river bed almost dries and leaves a deserted look. This diverted waters from the Beas also increases the generation capacity of the Bhakra Dam, which is located downstream of the Dehra Power Plant.
The Pandoh Lake is created by the Pandoh Dam and is located about 19 km upstream from Mandi on the Beas River.
History of Pandoh Dam
The two major rivers Beas and Sutlej flow out of the Himalayas and reach a point where they are separated by a distance of 36 km and have an elevation difference of approximately 1,099 ft. The waters of Beas are continuous stream of ice-melt and flow throughout the year. A plan was made to exploit the potential of this river system. The power potential of the plant was estimated at 1,000 MW. The plans originally called Beas Project Unit - I Beas Sutlej Link Project went through several revisions for diverting the waters of Beas River. The project was approved in the year 1963 and commissioned in 1977. The added benefit of the project was the increased inflow to the man-made reservoir of Gobind Sagar thereby increasing power generation capacity at Bhakra Dam and the added irrigation waters for the states of Punjab and Haryana.
The dam is situated by the National Highway 21 and is located at a distance of 10 km from the Manali bus stand.