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The Three Gorges - Where exactly is it? What are reasons for this project (Economic, Environmental, and Political)? What are the implications for this project (environmental, social and economic)?

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Introduction

Alexander Brice The Three Gorges Qs: Where exactly is it? What are reasons for this project (Economic, Environmental, and Political)? What are the implications for this project (environmental, social and economic)? N.B. information on this project causes controversy - note source and be critical about what you read. Impacts and Reasons for the Project Economic * Its generating capacity will be 18.2 million kilowatts, with a yearly power output of 84.7 billion kWh, equivalent to burning 50 million tons of coal or 25 million tons of crude oil. * When compared to coal-burning facilities of a similar size, the Three Gorges Plant can cut a large amount of carbon dioxide, one to two million tons of sulphuric dioxide, 10,000 tons of carbon monoxide, and 150,000 tons of dust. * Foreign Financiers have little enthusiasm for Three Gorges, the result has been a heavy drain on taxpayer's money and local banks. The project needs private funding. Last year, Three Gorges vice president travelled to Hong Kong seeking investors. * The Yangtze is the world's third longest river, is one of China's main transportation routes. ...read more.

Middle

* It has been a Political ambition for generations to control the River Yangtze. Much of what project opponents had forecasted in 1989 is now in full view for the world to see. * Construction is currently facing massive corruption (In 2000, 97 officials were punished and one sentenced to death for embezzling funds put aside for the relocation of over a million people whose homes were to be flooded by the dam), spiralling costs, technological problems (including cracks 2mm wide and 5m long) and major resettlement difficulties, all raising questions to the judgment of continuing the project. Issue Criticism Defence Cost The dam will far exceed the official cost estimate, and the investment will be unrecoverable as cheaper power sources become available and lure away ratepayers. The dam is within budget, and updating the transmission grid will increase demand for its electricity and allow the dam to pay for itself. Resettlement Relocated people are worse off than before and their human rights are being violated. 15 million people downstream will be better off due to electricity and flood control. Environment Water pollution and deforestation will increase, the coastline will be eroded and the altered ecosystem will further endanger many species. ...read more.

Conclusion

The alluvium carried in the river destroys the crops and can lead to famine and starvation. Alluvium also leaves behind a think layer and silt ruins the fields meaning that future crops are cut back and can be devastating for both trade and for growing a subsistent amount of crops. Labour is the main resource in this area and therefore a loss of people is a massive impact on the area, and the displacement of people that was caused by the massive flood led to lack of people to work the land. Climatic - 50 million tonnes of coal is the equivalent per year of the production of the HEP. China is the largest producer and users of coal, so to generate the electricity this way means the environment is saved as is the coal that would have been used. Now this coal can be used for other developments. Tectonics- the weight of the dam and the weight of water behind it could result in an earthquake. The weight may crash the rock and the enormous volume of water could seep into enormous fault lines and lubricate them meaning that they can slip more easily across one another leading to an earthquake. This is a Quasi-Natural occurrence. The sheer weight such a huge volume of water could cause such an earthquake too. ...read more.

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