of Three Gorges Dam Site in Hubei Province, China. Courtesy of International
Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.
It is located in the middle of
the tree gorges on the Yangtze River, the third longest in the world,
in the Hubei Province of China. The project was approved by the Chinese
in 1992. However, construction didn’t begin until 1994. It
is scheduled to be completed by 2009. The $25 billion project is
funded by companies, export credit agencies, and banks from Canada,
Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden, and Brazil. Controversy about
the project arises
from human rights issues (as many as 1.3-1.9 million people have
been forced to relocate) and environmental impacts.
rendition of the Three Gorges Dam.
Chinese Government has four goals for the Three Gorges Dam project:
1. Flood Control: The history of the Yangtze River includes many
devastating floods over the centuries killing thousands of people
and causing millions
of dollars in damages. The dam will reduce the impacts of flooding
since it will have a flood control capacity of 22.15 billion
Power Generation: The use of hydroelectric turbine generators will
reduce China’s dependency on coal, a hydro carbon
that produces greenhouse gases. The Three Gorges Dam will produce about
kilowatt hours of clean energy annually.
3. Navigation: The presence of the dam, the reservoir, and the ship
locks will allow large ships to travel up and downstream for the first
time. Ships from Chongquing will be able to transport goods all the way
to the sea at Shanghai.
4. Tourism: Since the Three Gorges Dam Project is the largest hydroelectric
dam in the world, it is expected to be popular among tourists visiting