Jennii Postles MPO


Super Dams – Triumph or Disaster


The 3 Gorges Dam is a project that will take around 15-20 years to complete. The project is situated on the Yangtze River in central china. The dam will be constructed over the 3 gorge section of the river Yangtze. When completed, it will be a towering 600 feet high and approximately 1.2 miles wide. It will require tens of thousands of workers to be the construction team of the largest dam at present. It is estimated to have a final cost of around £45 billion and will create a lake around 370 miles long.

This diagram shows the location of the construction site of the three gorges dam.

What environmental problems will does the Chinese government believe that the 3 gorges dam will solve?

Over many years, the river Yangtze has been flooding across farmland and cities. This has ruined valuable land and takes a great deal of time to put back the way it was. In the 1996 floods, hundreds of people were killed and millions were forced to leave there homes. Roads, railways and power lines were all cut off. The water that had risen was more than a foot over the danger level. The water that flooded the land was infested with many water born diseases, this water became mixed with the drinking water for many people. All of these problems are aimed to be stopped by the building of the 3 gorges dam. The main problem that the 3 gorges dam aims to solve is the major flood problem from the rivers. These floods are normally caused by the heavy rainfall in every monsoon season and making a massive increase in the river flow in June, July and August. This increase is added to from the snow melt from the Himalaya Mountains. An extract from “the three gorges dam- who will benefit?” states, “The dam’s purpose is to control the devastating annual floods along the world’s third longest river…” this states the main purpose of the dam. Another problem that the dam is suppose to solve is the amount of raw materials i.e. coal that is used up to make energy for powering homes and factories. China contains 1 quarter of the worlds overall population and there fore has a huge consumption of energy per year. The dam can help this by producing Hydro Electric Power (HEP). The power produced by the dam will be enough to power 40 cities. HEP is also a clean and renewable source and is therefore better for the environment than burning fossil fuels. This photo shows the rise of water level during a flood.

Join now!

How will the three gorges dam help the Chinese government?

The three gorges dam will be able to generate HEP, this will prevent the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. By not burning these fossil fuels, it will make the environment cleaner and it will also save china money because HEP is a renewable source and so it won’t run out; whereas fossil fuel are non-renewable and so they cost a lot to supply and burn. The dam is estimated to provide china with 84.68BkW of Hydro Electric ...

This is a preview of the whole essay