China’s Mega Dam – Three Gorges Dam Project

Don’t miss the Discovery Channel’s fascinating inside look into the history and construction of the Three Gorges Dam project on China’s Yangze River.     This massive project is the largest public works project in human history.   It will create a 400 mile long reservoir so massive that it may actually affect (very slightly but measurably) the rotation of the earth.    Three Gorges Dam is displacing over a million Chinese who live upriver from the Dam, though it appears that in many cases they’ll be relocated to better housing at higher ground.   36,000 square miles will be inundated as the river above the dam slowly rises.    Although some measures are being taken to preserve historical monuments an incalculable degree of historical and human emotional treasure will be lost from this dam.

The Mega Dam special gives some incredible insider looks into the control rooms of the power generation and shipping lock facilities as well as a brief look at some of the computer controls, which appear to have  very intuitive graphic interfaces.

A critic quoted in the film suggested that the benefits of the dam are effectively shipped off to big cities and larger farmers at the expense of the million plus Chinese who are getting displaced.     However other aspects of the story do not seem to support this vision because it appears that the relocated cities are generally of higher quality than those they are replacing.  One advocate suggested that this would be hard on the old relocated folks, but for the children the relocation would bring better health, education, and opportunity.

Discovery Channel Mega Dam Web page

About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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4 Responses to China’s Mega Dam – Three Gorges Dam Project

  1. jenn says:

    I would say more importantly is the environmental influce this project might have over the chinese population. That’s why the project has been pending and in discussion for nearly 50 years.

  2. JoeDuck says:

    Jenn they didn’t seem to talk a lot about that, though clearly with a 400 mile reservoir you are really changing a lot of environmental stuff, though not necessarily for the worse.

  3. lucy says:

    you have made the white river dolphin extinct , thanks a lot , i loved those dolphins, i had many happy times with them, now im crying

  4. Joe Duck says:

    Lucy I didn’t realize that until now – it is a tragic loss:

    On Dec. 13th, 2006, the Yangtze River Dolphin, or Baiji, was declared “functionally extinct”, after a 45-day search by leading experts in the field failed to find a single specimen [1][1]. The last verified sighting of the beak-nosed dolphin was in September of 2004 [2]. However, in August, 2007, reports surfaced that a man saw and videotaped what appears to be a baiji in the Yangtze River. A team of scientists attempted to verify the sighting beginning in September, 2007 [3].

    It is believed that overfishing, damming and sub-aquatic sonar pollution (which interfered with the dolphin’s sonar-based method of locating food), led to the extinction. Reuters news reported this their first record of a mammalian extinction in 50 years.

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