Three Gorges Dam Essay

595 words - 3 pages

Chinese Culture
September 13, 2012

The construction of the Three Gorges Dam is a phenomenal construction masterpiece all in its own. Building the dam took years of preparation and was a construction feat to put even the best physicists and architects to the test. Even though the construction would put many natives out of homes, the end results would provide power to the city and boost the success level of the economy.
The Three Gorges Dam was built on the Yangtze River, which was nicknamed the “Dragon” because of its sheer power and strength. The construction of this dam employed more than 40,000 people and was said to be the largest construction feat since the Great Wall of China. The construction started back in 1994 near the town of Sandouping and would cost 28 billion dollars. Four years after the beginning of the construction, China experienced their ...view middle of the document...

high wall and ran 1.3 miles from bank to bank. When the dam was completed in 2012, 13 cities, 140 towns and 1300 villages were submerged forever underwater because of the dam’s reservoir.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. As briefly stated in the prior paragraph, 1300 archaeological sites will be forever lost underwater. One potential benefit is China might be able to control the amount of sewage in the river now. Roughly 265 billion gallons of raw sewage are dumped into the Yangtze River annually and with the completion of the dam, that sewage will now back up in the reservoir. If China cannot control this growing level of sewage however, the sewage could potentially bring about disease and kill not only humans, but crops and animals as well. Another potential problem with the dam is the backup of sediment that gathers on the backside of the dam. There are apparently sluices to take care of the building sediment, but if the sluices can’t take care of the job, the sediment could affect the integrity of the dam’s foundation. The largest problem has a very small chance of ever occurring, but could potentially endanger the lives of the 360 million people who live within the Yangtze River’s watershed. If the dam ever broke or collapsed, all of these people’s lives would be endangered.
The building of the Three Gorges Dam was surely an architectural feat and has both its benefits and disadvantages. Even though millions of natives were put out of homes for some time, I think the dam was very beneficial to the forward outlook of China’s economy. The damn is capable of generating an amount of power equivalent to 15 nuclear power plants. This will greatly reduce green house gas emissions during the development of the city and help China become much more self-sustainable. Along with that, China’s government plans to build 260 wastewater treatment plants. Since China is already struggling on a shortage of clean water for their ever-growing population, this could be crucial to the survival of their economy and livelihood.

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