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Loch Droma Barrage Dam

Barrage (20th Century)

Site Name Loch Droma Barrage Dam

Classification Barrage (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Conon Valley Hydroelectric Power Scheme

Canmore ID 312894

Site Number NH27NE 7

NGR NH 25317 75383

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Lochbroom
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty


Field Visit (2010)

Droma Dam prevents water crossing the watershed and leaving the catchment and directs it into Loch Glascarnoch (see separate item) providing storage capacity in the scheme. Water leaves the dam through a tunnel before existing into Loch Vaich and thence into Loch Glascarnoch. The dam is relatively low lying as a consequence of the local topography of flat moorland plain. Compensation is supplied to the river from a central valve. There are several pipes which feed water from separate catchments into the dam. The dam has a relatively limited landscape contribution because of its long low profile. It is of predominantly functional design. PL Payne,1988, 5; E Wood, 2002, 38; J Miller, 2002.

Note (25 October 2023)

The Conon scheme

This project involves three separate stages: the Fannich scheme, the Glascarnoch-Luichart-Torr Achilty scheme and the Orrin scheme. The first of these involved tunnels and aqueducts to increase the flow into Loch Fannich, and a tunnel from the bed of Loch Fannich to the Grudie Bridge power station at the west end of Loch Luichart. This involved a severe problem at the Loch Fannich end. Work began in 1946 and a dam was built later, completing the section in 1951.

Work began on the second stage in 1951., producing two artificial lochs Vaich and Glascarnoch by damming the respective rivers, using the earth and rockfill method. Tunnels were excavated between these lochs and from Loch Glascarnoch to Mossford power station on Loch Luichart. A dam at the east end of Loch Achanalt allows loch to supply the Achsanalt power station near Grudie Bridge. Two artificial lochs Meig and Achonachie were produced by dams on the rivers Meig and Conon to supply power stations at Luichart and Torr Achilty respectively. Work on this section was completed in 1957.

The Orrin scheme was started in 1955 and involved the building of a mass gravity dam 1000 feet long and an earth embankment also 1000 feet in length to seal off a branch valley, thus forming the Orrin Reservoir. The outflow is through a concrete -lined tunnel to a steel pipeline supplying the Orrin power station at Loch Achonachie. Four Borland fish lifts had been installed at Luichart, Meig, Achanalt and Torr Achilty. The scheme was completed in 1961, the six power stations producing an output well over 100,000 kW.

Information from NRHE catalogue record WP007424, compiled by George Walker, 2005.


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