The Three Gorges Dam Essay

1054 words - 5 pages

The Three Gorges Dam
BENEFITS

Economic

· Hydroelectric power is generated and the availability of electricity can help in industrial and economical development. The construction of the dam, new towns and infrastructure are also generating employment. It was decrease China’s overdependence on coal. Thus, the construction of the dam is a viable alternative to China’s need for energy for its economic growth as it is an important supplement of energy for China. E.g. the Three Gorges Dam is expected to generate up to 18000 MV, and will supply electricity to Shanghai, one of the world’s largest city, and Chongqing, an area embarked for economic development.

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Silt settling in the reservoir has allowed fish to thrive, but in the long term will need to be dredged to prevent the reservoir from being silted up. Dredging is expensive
DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS

Economic

· It is very costly to construct dams. The transportation of raw materials and equipment will be very expensive and difficult. Although the country may have sufficient unskilled labour, they may lack higher management and technical specialists. The country will also incur cost in employing skilled labour from abroad. If the construction of the dam fail, the country cannot recover the costs and investments of the dam. E.g.The construction of the Three Gorges Dam could cost as much as 15billion pounds.

· 14500 hectares of agricultural land will be inundated. Compensation has to be given to the farmers. Increased output will be required from other land, but farming on higher ground may have less fertility and thinner soils. There will also be a loss of fertile sediment previously deposited on floodplain downstream during annual floods. Thus, less revenue will be earned from the agricultural aspect of china.

· The change of habitats, the transformation from rapid to slow moving waters, reduction in sediment, and soils being deprived of nutrients, will affect commercial fisheries. The fish are often killed in electric turbines of dams. Environmental/Physical

· Siltation has both advantages and disadvantages. Silt settling in the reservoir has allowed fish to thrive, but in the long term will need to be dredged to prevent the reservoir from being silted up. Dredging is expensive

Social

· Pollutants from thousands of industrial plants and mining, agricultural runoff, residential wastewater, urban sewers, pollution from shipping enter the river. It was obstruct river flow and slowing water will concentrate toxins and pollutants. Displaced people are likely to suffer epidemics of infectious diseases, which may lead to the deaths of many. The still irrigation water may breed mosquitoes, spreading diseases such as malaria, dengue and a deadly disease known as bilharzias
· E.g. the changed cycle of flows downstream of dam may increase the number of water snails carrying the...

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