An extraordinary technical structure

630m long and 124m high, the Serre-Ponçon dam is considered to be the 2nd longest earth dam in Europe.
The dam was built between 1957 and 1959 to cope with the devastating flooding of the Durance.
Due to the seismic terrain of the Hautes-Alpes, it was built mainly of earth and alluvium.
When the lake was impounded between 1959 and 1961, it changed the landscape of the Hautes-Alpes and swallowed up the villages of Savines and Ubaye, the remains of which can be seen in winter.
The level of the lake varies throughout the year. In winter, the lake is at its lowest, collecting the melting snow and spring rains. 
In summer, its maximum level reaches 780m, allowing water sports and tourist activities to take place.
Today, the Serre-Ponçon dam is operated by EDF. Its main functions are electricity generation and agricultural irrigation.