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The Three Gorges Dam Report

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Introduction

The Three Gorges Dam Report If completed, the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze will be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. It would stretch 2,150 meters across and tower 185 meters above the world's third longest river. Its reservoir would be over 600 kilometres long and force the displacement of as many as 1.9 million people. Known to many environmentalists as "the Mother of All Dams," the Three Gorges Dam Project is clearly the largest public works project since the Great Wall and is the world's most environmentally and socially destructive infrastructure project. Despite rising international opposition to the project, the Chinese government has been adamant in moving it forward, as a symbol of China's development and "superior organizing." On balance I think that our company should provide money and fund this project. The main reason for my decision is that from this one project, many will arise from this. The damn will not only provide only Hydro-Electric Power, but will also provide a great fishing industry for China. The minor sacrifices will have to be made such as making the river dolphin extinct and loosing old important artefacts which can be of use to archaeologists. Besides this, the most important priority is to develop the country's economy. China's economy is what counts and it will not improve by keeping old artefacts. ...read more.

Middle

During the past 2 000 years since the Han Dynasty, 214 flood disasters recorded along Yangtze, 11 of them in the last 70 years. 1870 flood, considered the largest for 4 000 years, drowned 240 000 people and 1 million hectares of land. During the 1931 140 000 killed, during the 1954 flood, 30 000 killed and 1 million homeless. In 1996, 2 700 were killed. * Power Generation - Coal provides 66% of China's energy, burning 1.1-1.2 billion tons of coal per annum and emitting vast volumes of carbon dioxide. Continued industrial growth and growing energy demands will increase this figure. The future Sanxia hydropower station will be largest in the world and reduce China's dependence on coal. 26 turbines, each possibly 400 tons each, will generate 18 200 MW (50% more than the Itaip´┐Ż Dam, Paraguay, the world's present biggest) (Zich, 1997). This will be equivalent to the output of 178 nuclear power plants, or the burning of 40-50 million tons of coal per year or 25 million tons of crude oil per year . This will drastically reduce carbon dioxide and sulphur emissions and so limiting future increases in greenhouse effect and acid rain. In contrast, virtually pollution-free HEP seems an attractive proposition. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1958 a large landslide near the site generated a flood wave tens of metres high (Pearce, 1992). Overtopping of the dam or dam breach could submerge towns and cities such as Wuhan. Social Impacts * Archaeological Losses - The region has been inhabited since Palaeolithic and has accumulated a wealth of archaeological sites remain. Although some, such as Zhang Fei Temple at Yungang, will be relocated (Zich, 1997), 800 sites of cultural relics will be destroyed (Internet 2). This will affect the tourism to the area. * Agriculture - 14 500 hectares of agricultural land will be inundated. Compensation will be needed farmers. Increased output will be required from other land, but farming on higher ground may have less fertility and thinner soils. There will also be loss of fertile sediment previously deposited on floodplain downstream during annual floods. Farming near estuary will be affected by lower flows and intrusion of salt water around Shanghai. * Fisheries - Consequences include change of habitats, a general transformation from rapid to slow moving waters and reduction in sediment, and soils being deprived replenishment of nutrients from sediments. Commercial fisheries will be affected (black, silver, grass and variegated carp breed) and fish are often killed in electric turbines of dams. * Economic Impacts - Industry will be displaced and, although new industries will be attracted, costs will be high. Chetak Barot 10A ...read more.

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