• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To dam or not to dam - the Yangtze.

Extracts from this document...


To dam or not to dam Done By: Wong Yun Sheng Calvin (1O/24) Kock Kian Hong (1O/08) Mai Yifan (1O/14) Shih Yi-an (1O/18) Benjamin Sing Wei Heng(1O/19) A rough sketch of the Yangtze What is the purpose of building the dam of such proportion? (refer to Appendix A) This is to harness the energy of the Yangtze River. The resources for the production of energy from the Yangtze are enormous, although they have not been developed to a large extent. The total potential power is estimated to be more than 200 million kilowatts, representing about two-fifths of the total energy potential of all the rivers of China. The most ambitious project completed is the Ko-chou-pa hydroelectric dam above I-ch'ang, which is the first structure to block the flow of the Yangtze. The power potential in the vicinity of the Three Gorges is especially great, amounting to about one-fifth of the Yangtze's total potential. In the early 1990s preliminary work began on a massive dam and reservoir project there. Many tributaries of the Yangtze that have significant fall and volume-such as the Ya-lung, Min, and Chia-ling rivers-and other rivers that are tributaries of Lakes Tung-t'ing and P'o-yang also have considerable potential. Briefly describe the magnitude of the project Since construction began in 1993, almost 19.2 billion Yuan has been spent on it. 178 cubic metres of earth and stone have been removed over the past four years. ...read more.


By eliminating rapids, the dam will improve navigation on the Yangtze. By regulating the flow of the Yangtze, more water should be available for irrigation. Thousands of jobs will be created: builders, engineers, transport jobs, trade jobs, electricians, service jobs in towns, town planners etc. A short reflection on the issue The construction of the Three Gorges Dam has both advantages and disadvantages. As an advantage, the project will help to control the disastrous floods of the Yangtze. It will also produce enormous amounts of hydroelectric power for Central China and at the same time, reduce the amount of coal that is used to generate electric power, which would cause environmental pollution. It will also facilitate inland trade. However, the dam construction has also caused many disasters. It destroys many archaeological finds and China has lost cultural relics that are very valuable and meaningful for historians and archaeologists. Many fish species will not be able to survive in the river because the water temperature is now below 64 degrees Fahrenheit and water pollution has been increased. Also, it causes more than 1.2 million people to move away. Many of them also lose their property. However, the compensation that the people get is far less than what they have lost during the resettlement. There has also been an increasing amount of corruption because of this, with many officials pocketing money that was meant as compensation for the people. ...read more.


They can also improve inland trade by deepening the depth of a river. They can also provide a source of water for human consumption, irrigation or industrial purposes (e.g. Hoover Dam in Arizona). The lake behind the dam may also be transformed into a recreation area. Disadvantages: Serious consequences follow if a dam is overtopped. Disaster is likely in the case of an embankment dam not designed to permit uncontrolled flow of water on its downstream slope. In March 1960 the partially completed embankment dam at Oros, Brazil, was accidentally overtopped during a period of unexpectedly heavy rainfall. Despite heroic efforts to avert disaster, the water level rose nearly three feet above crest level, eroded about half the fill in the dam, and cut a deep breach about 660 feet wide in the structure. Although there was time to evacuate 100,000 people living downstream, half were subsequently rendered homeless and about 50 perished. Dams can also prevent fish from migrating, such as adult salmon when they move upstream, and young salmon from reaching feeding grounds. Sediment in rivers seriously influences the effective life of a reservoir and therefore the financing of a dam. Some modern dams have been rendered useless for storing water because the reservoir has filled with silt. Sources http://www.uoguelph.ca/~lrichard/yangtze.html http://www.freezone.co.uk http://probeinternational.org http://www.nationalgeographic.com iso.hirihina.com http://www.threegorgesprobe.com http://www.solidsoftware.com.au/Yangtze/Default.htm Megaproject: A Case Study of China's Three Gorges Project (1993), Shui-hung Luk and Joseph Whitney Damming the Three Gorges (1993), Margaret Barber and Gr´┐Żnnie Ryder A guide to the Yangtze river (1985), Judy Bonavia Exploring the Yangtze: China's longest river (1989), How Man Wong Through the Dragon's mouth (1999), Cowles, Ben Thomson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology essays

  1. Hydrology and Fluvial geomorphology. (Q&A)

    Q: Explanation formation on the following river features: ox-bow lakes, meanders, slip off slopes, rejuvenation and knick points. Suggested Answer Meanders are bends in a river. When water flows round a meander the fastest current is on the outside of the bend.

  2. Study the downstream changes of Loughton Brook.

    This is because the river smoothes the pebbles and wears them away as it transports them downstream before depositing them. Transportation occurs through traction, saltation, suspension and solution. The longer that they have been transported, the smoother they are as they have spent the maximum time in the water being rounded.

  1. Case Study on The Three Gorges Dam in China

    for fishing, transport and sustaining fertility of farmland among many other things. The river is said to support 230 million Chinese citizens and affect one in ten people on Earth in some way or another. What Are the Effects of the Three Gorges Dam?

  2. To what extent the flood alleviation scheme has had on the environment and people ...

    Question 4 Beach The purpose of this experiment is to see what effect Banjo pier, has on Swanage Bay in relation to the build up of long shore drift. The process in which the prevailing wind pushes material up the beach at an angel, and in which the backwash carries the material back out to sea in a straight line.

  1. Three Gorges Dam

    One third of costs are spent on resettling people. Since the power generated by the dam will be used in eastern and central China regions, there should be an improvement in the lifestyles of the families. In fact, the average salary of the already resettled people have went up from $500 yuan ($60 US) to $4898 yuan ($590 US).

  2. Do the Characteristics of a river change downstream?

    The valley sides are wide and flat much like the river channel. This is due to the process of lateral erosion and deposits of sand and mud on the riverbed. Because this section of the Wharfe lies on flat land, the velocity of the river is at a minimum despite the large amount of water it carries.

  1. Hard & Soft Engineering

    Building a dam and a reservoir can generate income. Profits can be made from generating electric or leisure revenue. * Environmental groups and local residents often prefer softer options, such as planting trees. This causes little damage to the environment and does not involve the resettlement of communities. An example of river restoration is the River Skerne The River

  2. Does the river Alyn follow Bradshaw's model?

    Discharge increases downstream due to a number of factors. Firstly there are more streams and tributaries entering the river the further you go along a river. Velocity also causes discharge to increase downstream. The faster the velocity the greater the amount of water flowing past a point in a given time span.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work