GCSE Geography AQA A water on the land: Three Gorges Dam China

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  • Three Gorges Dam China
    • About
      • Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.
      • it is located in the middle of the three gorges on the Yangtze River in the Hubei Province of China.
      • The dam opened in 2003 but was not fully operational until may 2012.
      • The project was approved in 1992 with construction starting in 1994.
      • International funding from companies and banks in Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Brazil played a large role in financing the project.
    • Economic impacts
      • The damage costs from flooding have dramatically decreased lessening the impacts of flooding.
      • The dam creates enough power to supply 10% of China.
      • The project has created a lot of jobs for local people and has made navigation  of the Yangtze River which accounts for 80% of all of China's trade.
      • China lost money due to the loss of fertile farming land. 100,000 acres were flooded which accounts for 10% of grain supply with 50% of that being rice.
      • The new land is less fertile so it is harder and more expensive to grow grain, some may resort to growing citrus fruits but this will be slower and yield less economic trade.
      • China will have to import more grain to make up for the loss which is expensive.
    • Social impacts
      • It is beneficial to an estimated 15 million living in flood areas.
      • Resettlement has allowed people to escape poverty.
      • The dam has protected 25,000 hectares of farmland.
      • Over 2 million people were displaced to make way for the dam and because of flooding.
      • 4000 villages, 140 towns and 13 cities were destroyed to make way.
      • Displaced people were promised compensation but didn't receive it due to corrupt officials.
      • Important archaeology sites and 5000 years of culture disappeared.
    • It has prevented the death of many lives and reduced the impacts of flooding.
    • Environment impacts
      • The energy created by the dam is self sustaining, clean and renewable which will replace 50 million tonnes of coal.
        • This prevents acid rain and improves health standards.
      • The Yangtze River contains 300 different species, the construction of the dam has prevented fish spawning upstream.
      • The local fishing industry has been damaged.
      • A huge amount of deforestation occurred to make way for the dam.
      • Mainly to provide land for farming however this land is unsuitable for farming and people often requiring people to be relocated again.
  • China will have to import more grain to make up for the loss which is expensive.

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