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Section 1: Goal, Scope and Rationale
The concept of constructing a dam on the Three Gorges to make use of the power of the
river Yangtze is a dream that is centuries old. In the early 90’s, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese
physician and revolutionary first proposed that a Three Gorges Dam Project to be
constructed The Three Gorges Project: A Brief Introduction. Various experts conducted
investigations and started working on the project but because of historic reasons and lack of
resources and technology the development of the project remained only a dream. After
almost ten hearings on the expediency of the project the Government of China concluded
that the merits of the project far overweigh its demerits and approved the project in 1992
China. 1996. The Three Gorges Project: A Brief Introduction. Official government fact sheet.
Washington, D.C., Chinese Embassy. The government had three main goals for this project,
flood control, power generation and navigation Why Built the Three Gorges Dam.
Previously the population surrounding the lower and middle and lower regions of the
Yangtze suffered immense losses from flooding affecting both human lives and property. In
1931 alone almost three hundred thousand hectares of cultivated land were lost and about
145 thousand people were drowned Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, The Three
Gorges Project: A Brief Introduction. Therefore, the construction of a dam was necessary to
propel China into the 21st century and without it, China will have difficulty in providing energy
to its immense population and moreover the energy obtained from the dam is more
environmentally friendly than other alternative sources present at that period.
Section 2: Strategy Alignment
The Yangtze River in China, the third largest river in the world, has long awed painters,
writers, and poets Aleksandr Pavlovich Muranov Charles E. Greer, 2017, Yangtze River.
For centuries, it drew people to its banks for trade, transport, and spiritual purposes, as
evidenced by archaeological studies. The dam is designed to have a flood control capacity
of approximately 22 billion cubic meters and its construction would recede the number and
impacts of floods in that surrounding area Mount Holyoke, The Three Gorges Dam Project.
Due to the size and capacity of this dam, engineers were over that it might flood the nearby
habitats so therefore relocation process for the people living there were already planned,
thought to give them new jobs and a place to live. It was estimated that the turbines would
generate about 85TWh of green energy, which would result in the decrease of country’s
dependency on coal and other fossil fuels Power-technology.com, Three Gorges Dam
Hydro Electric Power Plant, China. The construction of the reservoir and ship locks would
benefit the navigation across the river and would allow large vessels to travel up and down
the stream. New sea routes will be made and ships from Chongquing will soon be able to
trade goods all with Shanghai. As it will be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, it is
expected to be popular among tourists visiting China China View, 2008, Tourist arrivals to
Three Gorges Dam hit record high in 2007, therefore new business ideas like river cruises
and sightseeing were drafted to boost the economy and profits for the operation of the dam.
The workers on the construction site of the dam were in favour as it means that they have
employment for up to 20 years. The local area reserves constructed will also protect the
endangered animals such as the white alligator and the Chinese river dolphin. The planned
32 generators will be able to generate and sell enough power that it will eventually pay for
itself and start making profits Central People’s Government of P. R. China, 13 Jul 10, The
Three Gorges Dam.
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Section 3: Management of Risk
A project this size is surely bound to be rocked by problems and risks. The construction of
the reservoir constructed submerged 1,350 villages, 140 towns and 13 cities
Internationalrivers.org, The Three Gorges Dam. The engineers were aware of this and
therefore started the relocation process as soon as the project was given a go ahead. All the
factories, waste dumps, mines and homes will dump all their waste in the river along with
their contents, which includes toxic chemicals. On top of that there was sewage of
approximately 1.35 billion tons already being dumped in the river each year. All of this waste
will likely end up in the reservoir, which was supposed to be a major source of drinking water
for the surrounding region WWF, Threat of Pollution in the Yangtze. The region around the
dam has Jiuwanxi and Zigui-Badong the two major fault lines in China Lyn M Highland,
Geographical Overview of the Three Gorges Dam and Reservoir, China—Geologic Hazards
and Environmental Impacts. The swift changes in water pressure due to reservoir being
filled got the geologist worried that during flood it could trigger a phenomenon known
as reservoir-induced seismicity the shakes the unsteady ground and causes an earthquake
Hvistendahl, Mara. “China’s Three Gorges Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe?” Scientific
American. March 25, 2008.. The land around the reservoir could also be destabilized and
cause landslides due to the lowering and raising of the water level. The engineers designed
the dam to be earthquake resistant by using special techniques and materials and you can
see that result as the Dam survived nearly 980 tremors in its first few years of operation. The
Chinese government also took steps to keep a check on the existing structure of the dam
and spent millions of dollars to make it safer. It also spent a staggering 1.6 billion dollars on
reinforcing the reservoir coasts to prevent landslides and another 3.2 billion dollars on water
treatment projects to prevent water pollution Water-technology.net, Chongqing Wastewater
Project, Three Gorges Dam, China. They are also finding new spawning areas for
threatened fish species and also to transport the many ancient relics to a safer place before
they ended up being submerged in water.
Section 4: Conclusions: Evaluation of Project Success
The Three Gorges Dam was an ambiguous project and was something that looked good on
paper. The initial budget was set to be 8 billion dollars but in reality it took almost 22 billion
and some rumour it to take up to 80 billion dollar to complete the overall project
Internationalrivers.org, three Gorges dam: the cost of Power. Around 1.2 million people
have been ordered by the government to evacuate the area and relocate before construction.
They were promised plots of land and small stipends but in many cases they were only
compensated as little as 50 yuan or $7 a month Hvistendahl, Mara. “China’s Three Gorges
Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe?” Scientific American. March 25, 2008.. The reservoir
created engulfed temples, ancient villages and burial grounds, destroying thousands of
year’s worth of irreplaceable history. It would also inundate a 4,000-year-old homeland of the
ancient Ba People and almost 1,300 important historical sites Elizabeth Childs-Johnson,
Joan Lebold Cohen, and Lawrence R. Sullivan, 1996, Race Against Time, Volume 49
Number 6.
The dam has also been causing some serious environmental concerns. There have been
various landslides since the start of the project. Even before the project was completed, the
bank of the reservoir had been collapsed in more than 90 places. In 2003, 700 million cubic
feet of rock slid into the Qinggan River, which created 20-meter tall waves that killed 14
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people Hvistendahl, Mara. “China’s Three Gorges Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe?”
Scientific American. March 25, 2008.. The weather in the area has been changing so
significantly that researchers at NASA “NASA Satellites Watch as China Constructs Giant
Dam.” NASA. June 14, 2007 “were surprised to see that the dam affected rainfall over such
a large area — a 62-square-mile region — rather than just 6 miles projected in previous
studies.” They also found that the neighbouring mountains were receiving higher amount of
rainfall while the area surrounding the dam received much lesser rainfall than before. This
resulted in a significant change of almost 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit in areas where rain fell
increased due to the cloud form and reduction in sunlight ultimately changing the vegetation
and habitat of the already present species living there “NASA Satellites Watch as China
Constructs Giant Dam.” NASA. June 14, 2007.
In 2008 the Yangtze River hit its lowest water level in 142 years. This abrupt drop stranded
ships and caused water shortages in various cities including Shanghai. This is ironic as the
project, which was designed to restrain flooding, is now causing draughts Nick Macfie,
China’s longest river at lowest in 142 years. After viewing all of my information, I have come
to a conclusion about my views on the three gorges dam projects. Personally, I believe that
the dam should not be built. I believe this because I think that they should build a scheme
that will not affect people in such a dramatic way. For example, they could get better flood
control without having to stop the rivers natural flow by protecting the cities and farmland
more. That will preserve the land and will also stop damage being caused. I do agree with
the fact that Hydro Electric Power will unequivocally help the environment and that it is
needed to help prevent the burning of fossil fuels but I think the country could incorporate
Hydro Electric Power into other parts of the river other than the Three Gorges.
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References
China. 1996. The Three Gorges Project: A Brief Introduction. Official government fact sheet.
Washington, D.C., Chinese Embassy.
China View. 2008. Tourist arrivals to Three Gorges Dam hit record high in 2007. http://news.
xinhuanet.com/english/2008-01/06/content_7374888.htm#
Heggelund, G. 2004. Environment and Resettlement Politics in China: The Three Gorges
Project. Hampshire, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing.
Hvistendahl, Mara. “China’s Three Gorges Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe?” Scientific
American. March 25, 2008. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=chinas-three-gorges-damdisaster
&print=true
Lynn M. Highland. https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1241/pdf/OF08-1241_508.pdf
“NASA Satellites Watch as China Constructs Giant Dam.” NASA. June 14, 2007.
Nick Macfie https://uk.reuters.com/article/china-river/chinas-longest-river-at-lowest-in-142-
years-idUKPEK3013020080117
Race Against Time, Volume 49 Number 6, 1996 Elizabeth Childs-Johnson, Joan Lebold
Cohen, and Lawrence R. Sullivan
Three Gorges Dam: 0.4G kWh Electric Power Generated Every Day,” Central People’s
Government of P. R. China, 13 Jul 10
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/sxgc/t36502.htm

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Three Gorges Dam Hydro Electric Power Plant, China


https://www.yangtzeriver.org/threegorges_dam/why-built-three-gorges-dam.htm
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/sxgc/t36502.htm
https://www.britannica.com/place/Yangtze-River
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~lpohara/
https://www.internationalrivers.org/campaigns/three-gorges-dam
http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_freshwater/freshwater_problems/river_decline/1
0_rivers_risk/yangtze/yangtze_threats/

Chongqing Wastewater Project, Three Gorges Dam


Student ID: 9775814
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https://www.internationalrivers.org/sites/default/files/attachedfiles/
3gorges_factsheet.lorez_.pdf