Essay on The Three Gorges Dam

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The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam is an unfinished project which will be the largest dam ever constructed on the planet Earth. It is situated in China on the third largest river in the world – the Yangtze. The dam has been debated over since the 1919 and is still a hot topic of debate because of its many pros and cons. In 1994 construction began on the dam, and it is expected to be finished by the year 2009. The massive dimensions of the dam are mind boggling and its functions – if the dam actually works – are truly remarkable; however, with such a large structure also comes difficulties, sacrifices, and cynics. The goal of this essay is to lend an understanding of the dam itself, the prospective benefits of…show more content…
“The Three Gorges Dam will be the largest hydropower station and dam in the world, with a 1.2 mile stretch of concrete and a 370 mile-long reservoir and 525 feet deep.”[4] To put that into understandable dimensions it will be the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, and twice as tall. “The reservoir created by the backflow of the dam will extend 360 miles up river to Chongqing, a distance equal to nearly half the length of California.”[5] So what is the point of this monstrosity? The major prospective benefits will be power generation, flood control, and increased navigability of the Yangtze River. Many people debate whether these attributes will actually be as beneficial as builders expect. The drawbacks of the dam are its flood plain and the effects of the flood plain, environmental damage, resettlement, historical and cultural loss, and the ideas of speculators about whether or not some of the dam’s abilities are true. The dam is expected to produce approximately 18.2 million kilowatts of energy per year which will greatly benefit the power needs of central China. The largest validation of the dam is this property – power generation. These 18.2 million kilowatts “generated from its 26 700-megawatt turbine generators, equals the energy produced by 18 nuclear plants or the burning of 40 million tons of coal.”[6] The amount of power produced will
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