Zemplínska Šrava in the past called Zemplínska Sĺňava was built in 1961 – 1965
The primary purpose of the dam was to protect against flooding and irrigation of agricultural land, while recreation was originally considered only marginally.
The dam is also a dry reservoir (so-called polder) Beša. Šírava is used for recreational purposes, sailing, flood protection, irrigation of the East Slovak Lowland and as a water source for industry (Vojany thermal power plant).
The eastern part of the dam between the villages of Kusin, Hnojne and Jovsa is overgrown, which suits waterfowl. This area is reserved by ornithologists as a protected study area, a protected area was established here (see: CHA Zemplínska šírava) declared in 1968 on an area of 622 ha, the purpose of which is to protect the ornithological locality in the eastern part of the artificial water reservoir. of which 37 rare.
Before the construction of the water reservoir there was no village on its surface. The space between the future resorts of Horka and Bear Mountain was used in 1939 by the German Luftwaffe to build a makeshift airport without a paved runway. The airport was used in the attack on Poland in the early World War II.