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The Three Gorge

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This is the dam as a whole


The three Gorges Dam is the biggest hydropower station in China, it is also the biggest in the world. It has various functions, like shipping, electricity generation, and irrigation. The height of the dam is 185m with a length of 2335m, the base of the dam is 115m wide and the top of the dam is 40m wide. The normal storage level is 175m[1]. The total electric generating capacity of the dam is 22,500 MW[2]. It cost total $15.5billion and 15 years to construct. Three Gorge is the largest project in China’s history since the Great Wall.


Three Gorges Dam is located in Hubei province, span Yangtze River, besides the Sandouping town. The reservoir helps controlling the floods on the Yangtze River basin and allowing 10,000-ton ocean freighters to sail into the interior of China for six months out of the year[3].

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This is the bird view of the dam


Immigration is the biggest challenge during the construction. In the total investments, more than 45% of funds was used for the immigration. When dam begun to accumulate water, it will submerge 129 towns. At that time, there are 1.13million people needed to be immigrated. It is never happened twice in the world. If water accumulation over the budget, the number of immigrants will increase as well. This immigration project use 17 years to complete, and it makes some conflicts happen between citizens and government[4]. These people move to different provinces or city like Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Hubei and Hunan[5].


Flood Control[edit]

Historically, the flood occurs at the upstream of Long River frequently. Every time when the flood occurs, JingJiang, which is at the downstream of Long River, needs flood diversion--submerge lots of farmlands and small towns to protect the industrial city---Wuhan. After three gorge is completed, the regulation and storage capacity can defend extraordinary flood[6]. The small town will not be sacrificed anymore.

Electricity Generation[edit]

By the time of it's completion in 2009, the three gorges dam will produce enough electricity to supply 3% of China's total energy needs. The dam's 32 main turbines are capable of generating as much electricity as 18 nuclear power stations and it is built to withstand a magnitude of 7.0 earthquake. The project is part of China's initiative to move towards green energy usage.

This is the side view of the dam


There are lots of disputes before Chinese government begin to construct it. Three Gorges has caused a slew of urgent environmental, geologic and economic problems. Water pollution makes the situation worse. Also, three Gorge break the ecosystem in Long River. Three Gorge span long river, lots of fish cannot go through the dam to breed at the downstream. Meanwhile, after the dam stored water, more than 560 types of previous plants were submerged. Fortunately, most of them are growing in other places[7]. In culture, this Long river area has many famous historical cities and sightseeing spots, also some precious relics. Though the government has saved parts of relics and duplicated some sightseeing spots, there are still many cultural relics were submerged because of three Gorge.


See Also[edit]

Touring the three Gorge Dam--Video

CNN: Trouble for the three Gorge--Video

The largest dam in the world--Video