The Three Gorges Dam is a large-scale hydropower station built and operated completely by China in 2012, located in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China. The Three Gorges Dam has brought tremendous power generation capacity and excellent flood resistance to China, but at the same time When it was completed, it inundated some of the nearby cultural sites and changed the surrounding ecological environment, which made it a controversy at home and abroad.
Advantages of the Three Gorges Dam
Flood control is the one of the major objectives of this great project. Due to the seasonal flooding of the Yangtze river, for a long time, many people living in the regions of middle and lower reaches suffer from the destruction of their farmland as well as the loss of their home or even their own lives. In addition to financial loss, the pain caused by the flood to the people and the social turmoil that accompanies it are the most urgent problems to be solved. In this case, the Chinese government decided to take a standing measure to efficiently relieve this issue which was the construction of the Three Gorge dam. From a pragmatic point of view, the dam successfully adjusted the flood on July 24, 2012, when the flood peak has already exceeded the peak (above 70 thousand cubic per second) in 1998. Logically, there was nothing dangerous downstream. All in all, the Three Gorge dam has reached it original purpose of flood control and it has been playing an important role of flood adjustment in recent years.
Meanwhile, used as a power station to protect the needs of residents and improve the lives of residents. As the world’s largest water power station, it can help reduce the number of thermal power stations and reduce CO2 emissions. The annual power generation of the Three Gorges Dam is 97.600 TWh. At the same time, there is no raw material cost for the Three Gorges Dam to use water power generation, which greatly reduces the cost of electricity for the Chinese people. For Utilitarianism the construction of the Three Gorges Dam has promoted China’s new energy development, increased China’s new energy use rate, and eased the deterioration of China’s residents’ environment. After the completion of the Three Gorges Dam, all construction costs have been recovered after seven years. The Three Gorges Dam is now in a profitable state. At the same time, the Three Gorges Dam also brought stable employment and eased the use of electric power brought about by China’s development.
Harm of the Three Gorges Dam
With the complete of the three gorges dam, the environmental problems caused by the dam have gradually appeared, mainly including landslides, earthquake and potential impact on wild life.
Due to the erosion in the reservoir, the probability of landslides has increased a lot, which lead to significant disturbance in the reservoir surface. In the year of 2010, there were 97 landslides in the upstream of the Yangtze river. Also, the dam located on the seismic zone, therefore the chance for earthquake is higher. In order to make preparations for the geological disaster, policies were published by Three Gorges Project Construction Committee to prevent the disaster. In this issue, the safety and fortune of civilian living near the dam are highly affected. The government is expected to make more efforts to ensure better life for people.
The other problem caused by the dam is wild life impact. The Yangtze region has been known for rich in biodiversity, including 6,388 species of plants, among which 57% percent was endangered due to the dam. It also has great impact on animal species, particularly the Chinese river dolphin, has been extinct. The construction of the dam is fully responsible for the distinction of species. In order to solve the problem, the government has established nature reserves to protect the species. Even so, the extinct species are still great lost.
The Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River is the largest hydraulic engineering in the world, and it is also a project with the largest number of immigrants in the history of hydraulic engineering in the world.
The Three Gorges Project will inundate 20 districts and counties (cities) in Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality. The direct inundation area has a population of 847,500 and houses of 34,731,500 square meters. There are two cities, 11 counties, 116 market towns and a large number of industrial and mining enterprises, ports and other infrastructure needs to be rebuilt in whole or in part. By 2009, the final number of immigrants will reach 1.13 million.
Such a huge immigration will inevitably bring about many social problems. Millions of people have been forced to leave their home for generations. Although the government will have certain compensation measures, it is still difficult for people to fully integrate into a new environment. Most of the immigrants were placed in new towns built at higher altitudes. At the beginning of the new town construction, immigrants suffered a difficult period because that farmland is submerged and traffic is inconvenient. Other immigrants were placed all over the China. Language problems and social issues have caused great inconvenience to their lives.