Positive and negative effects of the Three Gorges dam project in China
The Three Gorges Dam is located in Asia, China. It is not yet finished but will be by November 2009. In China the Three Gorges Dam is 800 miles up the third longest river in the world called the River Yangtze, and is positioned in the middle of two cities called Chongqing and Wuham. The river Yangtze is 6300 km long and has 7 cities found along it, these are Wuhan, Yichang, Wanxian, Nanjing, Chongqing, Liuzhou and Zhenjiang.
The dam is needed to stop the dreadful and unpredictable floods of the river Yangtze. For example, in 1998, a flood killed over 3000 people. The Three Gorges Dam has been created to prevent disasters like this from happening again. The dam was also made to make China wealthier, help the environment and lift citizens out of poverty by producing electricity from of hydro-electric-power.
Need essay sample on "Positive and negative effects of the Three Gorges dam project in China" ? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you for only $12.90/page
The Three Gorges Dam has many positive effects. For example, it provides HEP (hydro-electric power), which gives people electricity for fridges, lights and television, making power much more affordable. With HEP there is no CO2 (global warming gas) being generated, so it is very good for the environment and the atmosphere. The dams HEP will provide 14% of china’s future electric-power. The HEP that will generate is the same as 18 nuclear power stations. There are few natural resources left, and this energy will help people living in poverty. The HEP will reduce 50 million tons of coal burning, carbon dioxide and emissions will reduce by a 100 million ton.
Also, the new cities that people will have to move to will be more up to date. They will have an entire infrastructure a modern city needs to function well. They will have better sewage, transport, electricity, schools, colleges, housing and telephone communication.
The dam will stop flooding of 11 major cities and towns on the rivers flood plain. It is preventing flooding from destroying people’s livelihoods. In 1998 there was a major flood that cost ï¿½500 million to rebuild and demolished factories; a prime place that provided jobs and kept China’s economy going. The flood made 14 million were made homeless, 5 million houses were destroyed, 25 million hectares of farmland were affected.
People will have to relocate and move to the cities because the Government is providing less farmland. This is good as more people will be living in the modern world. They will have to move to cities instead of living in the poorer region (rural to urban migration). This will give people a chance to get better education and homes. The poor inland region will be developed, making china better place as a whole.
Ships will be able to come with 10,000 tonne worth of things. China will be exporting and importing from the world’s biggest city and now the world’s biggest port. The Chinese people will be able to make businesses that will include trade will be beneficial to them. It would be much easier for them to buy and sell goods.
By creating the dam, the government has made China a very powerful country by building the biggest structure in the world. It cost the government ï¿½15 billion to make, and is even visible from the moon, making it a world-wide tourist attraction. This is the biggest structure since the Great Wall of China that was built 200 years ago.
The dam has created an enormous 600km lake. This will make more money for the government because the dam has now become another tourist attraction. It will also provide jobs for people in recreation and fishing. The dam is not fully finished but is having a vast amount of visitors a week: 15,000 people! The poorer people will benefits from this because there will be more jobs to go round e.g. tour guides.
On the other hand, The Three Gorges Dam has many negative effects. The large reservoir behind the dam will flood 60,000 hectares of fertile farmland, 828 major cultural archaeological sites, Buddhist temples, and one of the world’s most beautiful limestone landscapes as limestone dissolves in water. 11 major towns, 114 small towns and 1711 villages will be drowned, forcing all of 1.2 million residents to move (forced migration) whether they want to or not. The limestone dissolves in water, this may affect the dam. The flooding of the dam will wash away fertile soil making it harder to grow crops. The Yangtze River grows 70% of the country’s rice harvest and 50% of China’s food production. Barley, wheat corn and cotton are all important crops grown on the fertile flood plain (arable). This will again be a bad issue for the farmers. They will not be able to sell crops for a living and feed their families. There is a high density of people on the flood plain. The Yangtze river is needed so much for crops because it gives a supply of fresh water to millions of people.
The Government will pay them compensation for the loss of their homes and farmland, but the new houses and flats are very expensive, and corruption and crime have made the new houses too expensive and poorly built. The corruption of the Government was many of the people in the governments stole the money that would have been for the famers and homeless people new houses but they could not get the compensation. Even thought some get compensation it is not a choice for them it is forced migration. Two officials in the major city: Chongqing was put to death for stealing the compensation money. The government has to have lost $52 million for compensation for people’s resettlement.
Citizens question whether they’d be able to afford moving. When the dam doesn’t need building anymore and villages don’t need bulldozing and rebuilding, people might not have enough jobs, especially when there is less fertile land to farm. Everyone will have to migrate to the cities where there are already unemployed people, which could leave people penny-less with no job and no home.
The dam will stop silt travelling downstream, causing the rare Yangtze River dolphin to become extinct as it lives in the silt, making the fisherman’s job a lot harder. If the silt and sediment sinks to the bottom of the lake, the lake will fill up, the HEP turbines will stop working and the fisherman downs stream won’t catch any fish. It would be a big expense to scrape out the deep lake. NOT SUSTAINBLE IN THE LONG TERM.
The Dam will gradually build silt and sediment to the bottom of the lake and will fill up because it will have clogged up the turbine. The water will have nowhere to go because the silt and sediment will have nowhere to go. This will then stop the HEP from working and Fishermans won’t be able to catch fish downstream. It will cost lot money to scrape out the lake. This will be very bad for all the porting businesses because it will be hard to get around and harder for fish businesses because they will no longer be able to catch fish.
The wildlife will be a major effect because of the dam. Around 70 different species will be killed due to the change of water temperature, the surrounding environment, and lack of resources. Wildlife that has adapted to its environment along the River Yangtze they will be forced off its homeland and be forced to adapt to a new environment.
The main people that are suffering from all these negative points are the poorer people of china this is showing that the government is not being equal in thinking about others.
There are many biased points of the information given to us to use for our cost analysis: By providing less new farmland, for people who have to relocate, we are hoping they will move to cities instead (rural to urban migration). This has to happen (alongside better education) if we want to develop and lift peasants out of poverty, and into the modern world. This does not show the bad points of what this is doing. This is from the Governments point of view and you can see how this is actually a bad point. They are not saying anything about the moving of the families and the corruption in the compensation and unfairness. On our cost benefit analysis we have five points that are from the benefits when the famers have only two this shows the biased in the analysis. The farmers have got six points of why they think it is bad but they are not being biased.
Overall we feel that the Three Gorges Dam is bad (cost) because it is affecting a large number of people. It is affecting the people of china whilst the government isn’t getting affected in any way they are only getting richer.
We come to our decision and our decision is the Three Gorses Dam is bad for china. We came to our decision by a cost and benefit analysis and our score was 26 to cost and 25 to good. However we had already came to well-built thought before that the Three Gorges Dam id more ban than good so going back to the question we think the Three Gorges Dam is bad for china.