APES: The Three Gorges Dam
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APES: The Three Gorges Dam
The three gorges dam
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My Scoop on the Three Gorges Dam

Officially completed on July 4, 2012, the Three Gorges Dam is one of the biggest dam in the world. It was built over the Yangtze River in China, the third longest river in the world, only smaller than the Nile (mainly Egypt) and the Amazon River (South America). The dam is 7,661 feet long and 607 feet tall. It is believed to have cost around 22 billion US dollars, but the Chinese government expects that the electricity generated by the dam will repay the full in only ten years. In addition to producing massive amounts of electricity, the dam also creates a giant reservoir and is intended to help with the annual flooding of the river. The dam will also provide greater access to ships traveling the Yangtze River, increasing trade.

 

The dam has created controversy throughout its construction. It has caused flooding in many populated areas and has forced over one million people to relocate just because of flooding. Landslides are also happening because of the erosion caused by the dam. Scientists also fear that the enormous amount of water the dam stores in the reservoir could cause seismic activity. The size of the dam and the reservoir has even led some to believe that it has impacted the weather, decreasing rainfall and increasing the number of droughts.

 

The Chinese government has basically decided that the economic benefits produced by the dam are superior than the costs, environmentally and in human lives, that it creates. Environmental agencies and human rights activists are still fighting the dam, but the creation of about 2% of China's electric consumption, gives reasons to the Chinese government to maintain the dam. It also is a symbol of China's power, as the Three Gorges Dam is considered by many to be one of the greatest engineering marvel of all time.

 

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China dam reaches operating peak

China dam reaches operating peak | APES: The Three Gorges Dam | Scoop.it

The Three Gorges Dam, upon its completion, was estimated to have cost $40 billion and also to have caused around 1.4 million people to relocate.  According to Chinese authorities, it is a much-needed solution to the frequent flooding of the Yangtze river and is also very important as a source of power.  The dam's energy capacity is equivalent to 11% of China's total hydropower capacity.  However, since the maximum water level was reached, the number of geological disasters in the area has increased.  Up to 100,000 more people may need to be moved due to these disasters.

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Top 5 Things To Know About Yangtze River Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam is among China's greatest engineering feats, second only to the Great Wall.  It is a major source of hydropower and also acts to prevent much of the Yangtze River's flooding.  The dam also aids agriculture, improves the quality of water, and even has an effect on local weather patterns.  The dam is also near many tourist attractions and is known for having very lush greenery.

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Three Gorges Graph Energy Output

Three Gorges Graph Energy Output | APES: The Three Gorges Dam | Scoop.it

The red line represents the average monthly output of the Three Gorges Dam, with energy generation peaking in September at over 14000 Megawatts.

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Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam | APES: The Three Gorges Dam | Scoop.it

Despite the potential uses for the dam in terms of hydropower, the dam has too many negative aspects for it to be viewed as a positive achievement.  Over a million people were displaced, along with the flooding of cities and towns and the submergence of hundreds of factories, mines and waste dumps.  The dam itself has caused landslides, may lead to a reservoir-induced seismicity, and has been a contributing factor to local droughts by withholding water.  Despite the existence of better alternatives, Chinese companies have taken their engineering feats across the world, constructing dams throughout China and encouraging other countries to follow suit.

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