General Information about the Three Gorges Dam
- It is the worlds largest hydroelectric dam spanning the Yangtze river in Sandouping, Hubei province, China.
- The total electric generating capacity of the dam is 22,500 megawatts.
- It was built to produce clean electricity, to control flooding and improve shipping along the Yangtze.
Negative Effects of the Three Gorges Dam
Around 1.4 million people have had to move because their villages and towns have been lost to the waters rising to 175m above sea level.
The huge weight of water behind the dam and fluctuations in the water level have caused landslides. These landslides can cause waves of 50m.
These landslides have had fatel consqences; in July 2007 a hillside collapsed dragging 13 farmers to their deaths and drowning 11 fishermen.
The building of the dam has resulted in the extinction of the Yangtze dolphin and the Siberian Crane is on the brink of extinction with only a few thousand left.
More than 1 billion tonnes of waste water are released annually - the dammed river is less able to disperse pollutants.
Positive Effects of the Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges dam has a flood capacity of 22.15 billion m 3 which is sufficient enough to control the greatest flood experienced in the past 100 years.
It protects 1,500,000 hectares of farmland and the lives and property of 15 million people.
The amount of energy produced by the hydroelectric turbines is 84.6 billion kilowatt hours - the equivilant of 18 nuclear power stations.
More than 800,000 tourists visited the Three Gorges Dam in 2007, with tourism revenue of US$15.6 million.
Cruising along the river is very popular with many tourists. As a result many sites are being developed for this giving thousands of people jobs.
Ex - farmers are used in the tourist industry.