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

Development vs. Conservation - A Debate

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Development vs. Conservation This essay will focus on one water scheme in China, specifically the Xiaolangdi Dam. Located along the mainstem of the lower Yellow River (Map 1)1, the Xiaolangdi Dam was constructed during the period 1991 - 1997 with the aim to reduce the flood risk, decrease sediment deposition in downstream river channels of the Yellow River and is used to provide constant supplies of water for irrigation and electricity generation.2 The second largest dam in China, Xiaolangdi is just one of the hundreds of dams and water schemes in China that symbolizes their ability to use water to fuel development in terms of agricultural and industrial, and attempting to propel themselves into one of the world's superpowers. However, in hopes of increasing the amount of dams and water schemes to fuel development, there have been several negative consequences and impacts that have occurred due to major river alternations, and has led us to the statement:- "The over riding development needs of China far outweigh the negative consequences (unintended and intended) which result from major river alterations." To agree of disagree with this statement, the Xiaolangdi Dam will be researched in depth to examine the situation of development from a balanced viewpoint, and to come up with an argument that states that the Xiaolangdi Dam's development benefits only lasts in the short term, and that the negative consequences which result from major river alterations outweigh the benefits in the long term. ...read more.

Middle

In 2006, China surpassed Japan as the world's No. 2 auto market, with total sales of 7.2 million vehicles and production of 7.3 million. In 2007, China also became the world's top producer of merchant ships. In short, this is clear evidence that China is developing industrially, and this industrial revolution of theirs needs to be fueled by electricity.9 Thus, as seen in graph 2, the production of electricity has increased, and water schemes such as Xiaolangdi Dam will contribute to the generation of electricity to fuel their industrial revolution. Graph 2 An increase in the production of Electricity to meet demands of the public can be pinpointed down to several reasons, one of them being an increase in water schemes such as the Xiaolangdi Dam. It is through this industrial boom that the GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, Graph 3). Due to this, the overall standard of living and quality of life in China has increased dramatically as well. With money, people can afford to purchase better food, get quality education, buy better clothes and housing, etc. This impact can be seen in the falling unemployment in the last few years (Graph 4), the increasing literacy rate of Chinese (Graph 5), the decreasing infant mortality rate (Graph 6) and the increasing life expectancy of the Chinese (Graph 7). In fact, the Chinese government predicts that the average life expectancy in China will jump 12 years to 85 years and all households will be lifted out of poverty by the middle of the century.10 Through ...read more.

Conclusion

However, after completing the Xiaolangdi Dam, there were unintended consequences that come into effect, most notably the damaging of the environment and the ecosystem of the river. With this being taken into consideration, in the long term, the negative consequences do outweigh the benefits and needs for development, and thus the Xiaolangdi Dam shouldn't have been built. 13 However, it should be noted that these consequences were unintended, and this is not just due to the fact that China has a different government system, but also because they have a lack of experience. With experience comes knowledge, and America is the best example. America also had the same experience as China did, except hundreds of years ago. They built dams in order to fuel development, and they believed that this was the best way to do so. However, after many years, it seems as if they have finally learnt from their experience, and that the negative consequences outweigh the benefits and the need for development. That is why in some places, they are actually removing the dams as they have figured that the damage associated with the building of a single dam can extend the entire length of a river and beyond.14 That is why China will have to both take America's experience and use it, or they may have to learn the hard way. Nevertheless, in the long run, the negative consequences which result from major river alterations definitely outweigh the needs and benefits of development, and thus, water schemes should be carefully considered before it gets the go head. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Geography 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 International Baccalaureate Geography essays

  1. Analysis of Plastic Recycling in Uganda.

    The process of recycling plastics requires chemical skews. Also some other materials like, paper come in various grades, from high-quality office paper to low-quality newspaper. During the recycling process, the different types of paper are sometimes combined. This results in of Natural Resources calls "downcycling," which lowers the overall quality of the recycled product and wastes high-quality paper fibers.

  2. Case Study of a Drainage Basin: The River Ouse, Yorkshire

    High rainfall over the tributaries makes the River Ouse very prone to flooding. The annual pattern of precipitation is reflected in the regime of the River Ouse and its tributaries. Human influence on the River Ouse basin Farming Much of the catchment of the River Ouse and its tributaries is used for farming.

  1. Foreign Talent-Dilemma in Singapore. as we shall explain, illustrate and seek to convince in ...

    However, it would be problematic for the government to legislate specific areas. What criteria, for instance, should the government use, especially for professional and high level talent? Our committee believes that it would be best to leave such decisions to free market forces.

  2. Climate changes in Canada. What consequences derive from the climate change in Canada ...

    Not only will the main source of regional water supplies get damaged, but many freshwater fish populations will die. Similarly, some saltwater fish populations will die from the warmer temperatures, but then again, other fish species will benefit from it.

  1. Coasts and their management

    crests. Wave period (T) is the time taken for two successive crest to pass a fixed point. Wave velocity (V) is the speed of wave crests. Wave steepness (H/L) is the ratio of wave height and wave length. Wave steepness cannot exceed a ratio of 1:7, or 0.14, because at that point the wave breaks.

  2. The aim of this geographical report is to find a correlation between the fertility ...

    Usually, it can not be used for large populations1. To form the first group, 25 countries were selected in an unsystematic way using this method. The second method, systematic sampling or interval sampling, implies a constant gap or interval between each selected country.

  1. Geography Course Work

    Data presentation and processing Presentation of Results Kite diagrams To graph these results I decided to graph the total percentage of vegetation cover along the transect line. I am going to show these results using kite graphs. This is because they are ideal for representing distributional data (i.e.

  2. What are the effects of global warming and initiatives taken by Wales and Iceland ...

    Instead, they are now taking advantage of their location and geology on the Mid Atlantic ridge and with over 200 volcanoes causing it to be very hot and so they use geothermal energy to heat homes and other places. Wales on the other hand, has the funding for the projects and has initiatives set up.

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