The Three Gorges Dam will consist of a 610-foot high wall running 1.3 miles from bank to bank.
Three Gorges Dam
The reservoir created by the backflow of the dam will extend 360 miles up river to Chongqing (“Chong-ching”), a distance equal to nearly half the length of California.
Since the beginning of the Han Dynasty 2,300 years ago, there have been 214 major floods recorded, averaging 1 flood every ten years. Within this past century, there have been five major floods that were recorded to have claimed hundreds of millions of lives, millions of acres of farmland, destroyed thousands of homes, and billions of dollars of damage. In 1998, a flood of such catastrophic level in the Three Gorges area caused 4,000 casualties, left 14 million people homeless, and created $24 billion in economic loss.
The proponents of the Three Gorges Dam believe that it will serve to protect 15 million people and 1.5 million acres of farmland in areas of the Yangtze River that are vulnerable to flooding. Continue reading
If China’s Three Gorges Dam were as large as the controversy surrounding it, this would surely be the biggest dam in the world. Although it is the world’s largest in terms of electrictiy production and overall investment, it is not the biggest dam in the world. A close comparison in terms of size would be the Grand Coulee Dam in the U.S. which is slightly larger.
Three gorges dam
This is not to understate the impact the dam will have on China’s future development in terms of flood control, increased trade on the upper reaches of the Yangzi, and of course reduced energy prices. Continue reading