Do you consider the Three Gorges Dam to have been a good thing or a bad thing – is it a success or a failure? In my opinion i believe the Three Gorges Dam is a success, simply because of the millions of lives it will save, by ? ood control. Having said that, the Three Gorges Dam does have many negative aspects. The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze river in Sandouping, Hubei province, China. It is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world. Construction began in December 1994 and the dam was fully operational by the late 2011, its a costly situation as it cost $26 billion.
The dam was built for three main reasons; to produce clean electricity, to control ? ooding and to improve shipping along the Yangtze. Resettlement is one of the greatest negative effects of the dam, around 1. 4 million people have had to move because their villages and towns have been lost beneath the rising waters. However, one of the most worrying consequences of the project has been the sharp increase in landslides around the dam. These landslides are being caused by the huge weight of water behind the dm and ? uctuations in the water level. The reservoir has already collapsed in 91 places and a total of 36km have caved in.
The Three Gorges Dam also has a devastating impact on the environment; of the 3,000 to 4,000 remaining Siberian Crane, a large number currently spend the winter in wetlands that have been destroyed by the dam. The Dam also contributed to the extinction of the Yangtze river dolphin. In addition, populations of the Yangtze sturgeon are guaranteed to be negatively affected by the dam. Many people will bene? t from the Three Gorges Dam. Massive economic growth will be allowed by the new navigable waterways along the Yangtze which will provide mass transit of raw materials to the area.
This combined with the signi? antly reduced transportations costs provides an attractive location for industry seeking a cheap labour force. In addition, and most importantly ? ood control; it will have a ? ood capacity of 22. 15 billion m , which will be suf? cient to control the greatest ? ood experienced in the past 100 years. It will protect 1,500,000 hectares of farmland and the lives and property of 15 million people. Another incredible factor of this dam, is power generation; the amount of energy produced by the hydroelectric turbines is 84. 6 billion kilowatt hours which is equivalent of 18 nuclear power stations.
Tourism also developed greatly, the China Three Gorges Dam Project Corporation built the Tanziling to enable visitors to see the panorama of Three Gorges from the highest point. More than 800,000 tourists visited the Three Gorges Dam area in 2007, with tourism revenue of $15. 6 million. On the one hand, the Three Gorges Dam is a very costly situation and has many negative aspects especially on the environment but on the other hand the Three Gorges Dam has the potential to save the lives and property of 15 million people, therefore i strongly believe that the dam is a success.
Courtney from Study Moose
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