Thursday, 8 November 2007

The Three Gorges Dam

On this day ten years ago, 8th November 1997, Chinese engineers diverted the Yangtze River to make way for the Three Gorges Dam - a Chinese hydroelectric river dam which spans the Yangtze River in Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei, China. The last concrete was poured in May 2006 but several generators still have to be installed, and the dam is not expected to become fully operational until about 2010. When the reservoir is filled in 2012, water will rise to a height of 175 meters, and extend 600 kilometers. The reservoir will submerge two of the three world-famous gorges. As with many dams, there is a debate over the costs and benefits of the Three Gorges Dam. Although there are economic benefits such as flood control and hydroelectric power, there are also concerns about the future of over 4 million people who will be displaced by the rising waters, in addition to concerns over the loss of many valuable archaeological and cultural sites, as well as the effects on the environment.

A boat sails at the Kuimen Gate of Qutang Gorge, one of the Three Gorges along the Yangtze River on July 13, 2007 in Fengjie County of Chongqing Municipality, China. Three Gorges have attracted over 20 million tourists in 2006.

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