The Three Gorges Dam’s construction was proposed by the pioneer of the republic of China in 1919, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. Sun Yet-Sen proposed the construction of the dam as measure to regulate the floods in the Yangtze River as well as hydroelectric power generator. The dam was, therefore, a flood control reservoir which was later used to serve the diversified purposes through the extensive innovations. An American dam expert was invited in 1944 to conduct some field research on the most suitable locations of the dams.
According to research conducted by Stone (2008), after two years the U.S Bureau of Reclamation signed a deal with the Republic of China to design the construction of the dam. However, the project of the dam construction was shortly unrestrained due the out brake of the Chinese civil war that was followed by the World War II. Some Chinese technicians were sent to take part in the talks on the dam construction and after two years the talks were completed and the dam construction were approved. Unfortunately, the construction was once again interrupted by the Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward political campaigns.
In 1979, there were market reforms that were introduced by Deng Xiaoping regarding the necessity of the production of more electricity power for the rising demand in the country. The reforms were approved by the newly elected leaders and the construction site for the dam was officially determined at Sandouping a town in the province of Hubei (Stone, 2008). Finally, the construction of the Three Gorges Dam was begun in December 14, 1994 a period of 75 years after the inception of the construction idea.
Throughout the period, the dam was constructed and through continuous innovations, the dam was operational in 2009 (Kite, 2011). The innovation of the dam still continues to make it more effective in its operations and to serve the intended purposes to the Chinese community. The Three Gorges Dam has been having significance impacts to the socio-economic, economic as well as the cultural undertakings of the Chinese community. The dam has, however, had some advantages and disadvantages to the country in various ways from its construction.
Equity and Impacts of the Three Gorges Dam
Tourist attraction site
Tourism is one of the largest and most promising sources of income to the country. When looking at tourism at a cultural and language point of view, the translation services have become an obvious activity that every tourism firm is adopting. Introduction of Three Gorges dam in China has gone a long way in boosting the number of tourists who visit the site every year (Stone, 2008). The tourist visits the dams in the need to have the exploration of their features and the uniqueness in them thus bringing out their popularity.
Tourists are the main sources of foreign exchange to any country globally. Thus with the large number of tourists visiting china to have a look of the dam, they result to the country’s source of foreign exchange thus improving the economic system of the country. This result to the economic growth and development of the country. Through the funds earned, the managerial team of the Three Gorge Dam are able to manage and develop the dam to a more efficient and effective project thus enhancing their productivity.
The Three Gorges Dam is among the largest hydroelectric power stations in the word (Quah & Toh, 2012). The dam’s capacity is 18.2million kilowatts with an annual power generation of 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours. With this power generation, china can cater for the power demand all over the country especially in the middle, southern and eastern parts of the country. With its location, it enables the effective division and supplies of the power to the surrounding areas thus the satisfaction of the surrounding users. With the construction of the three gorge dams, the country has been able to increase the sources of the energy consumed in the country’s overall production in all the areas be it commercial or in the domestic purposes. The hydroelectric power generated by the dams helps in reducing the amount of coal used in the country thus being a cheaper source of energy.
With its strategic location, the dam is greatly promoting the movement of people from one place to the other using the water vessels. Navigation in the Three Gorges Dam is effective due to the large size of the dam and its depth thus facilitating the anchoring of the large vessels is quite easily done. Movement from Yichang to Chongqing cities is the most facilitated movement by the construction of the dam. There are also ships sailing from Chongqing to Hanhou and later to Shanghai.
This is highly accelerating trade in within the Chinese cities thus the growth of the country’s economy (Quah & Toh, 2012). The dam’s construction despite its improvement of the waterway's movement, the dams have also facilitated the introduction of the large sized and standardized ships that are enhancing the transportation of the large volumes of goods and people. With this, the cost of transportation has greatly reduced thus the reduction in the production costs.
With the Three Gorges Dam’s increased reservoir’s capacity of about 22.1 billion cubic meter, the water from the floods can be accommodated into the dam. The annual flooding in some parts of the country was among the climatic threats to the Chinese citizens (Stone, 2008). The construction of the Three Gorges Dam was a measure to control the floods within the affected areas. The dam has its strategic located suitable for the control and regulation of the floods thus reducing the damages it causes to the citizens. The floods are controlled into the dam thus being used in the generation of power for the Chinese consumption.
The dam also acts as a water reservoir in the country to hold a large volume of water for the country’s use. This makes the country have the availability of adequate water required for all the undertakings in the world. This makes the country always have the maximum amount of water for all the uses (Hong, 2004). With its 0.7 miles width the Three Gorges Dam can hold a large amount of water without reaching its maximum capacity. With the large amount of water, the dam discharges about 530 tons of silt yearly. The water is used for other purposes such uses in the industrial sector within the Chinese industries, farming, and home use after the purification processes among others.
Earth quake detection
The Three Gorges Dam has been a detection point for the earthquakes in the country. Severally the dam has helped in detecting the occurrence of the earthquakes in the country thus being a protective way that alarms for the occurrence of the hazardous damages that would be caused by the quakes. Among the detected quakes is an earthquake that had the magnitude three on the Richter scale. The quake would have caused damages to the surrounding but was, however, detected thus controlled effects (McGrath & Smith, 2008).
With the installation of the new digital monitor system, the detection of the earthquake near by the Three Gorges Dam has been enhanced all the earthquakes and withstand their magnitude (Stone, 2008). Thus, there are the preventive measures being employed to curb the occurrence of an earthquake. This makes it more likely to cause no causalities on its occurrence as the impacts are usually low compared to those of undetected earthquake. This helps in saving the magnitude of the damages that would have been caused.
Reduced use of coal
With the construction of the dam, there has been low usage of coal as a source of energy all over the country. This is because electric power has been innovated thus making it more commonly used than the coal which results to climatic as well as environmental degradation. The coal usage has drastically reduced thus promoting the environmental preservation all over the country (Hong, 2004). With low usage of coal, the amount of carbon IV oxide gas emitted has reduced thus a reduction in the greenhouse gas composition, in the atmosphere. This has, therefore, prevented the cases of greenhouse gas effects to the environments as well as the rampant cases of global warming.
Climatic effects of the Three Gorges Dam
With the construction of the dam, the accumulation of the large volumes of water has both the positive and negative effects to the climatic conditions of the areas where it’s located. The dam brought about the increased atmospheric saturation with water molecules thus having denser atmosphere. With this, the area tends to be much colder than it was before the construction of the dam. This is due to the evaporation of the water into the atmosphere thus making the air contain a lot of water molecules.
Although the use of hydroelectric power is termed to be a renewable source of energy, greenhouse gases can be created from a large water storage including methane as a result of the micro-biotic activities taking place in the reservoirs (Hong, 2004). Through the emissions of the gases, greenhouse gases effect results from the gases thus being a cause to the global warming that is a major climatic disaster globally. This makes it more effective to the living things in the water as well as the human activities taking place around the dam. The ecosystem is altered by the huge water reservoirs downstream thus changing the biodiversity of the downstream areas.
With the increased evaporation from the dam, the falling of the rain has been triggered thus having frequent rains in the area. This has also led to an increase in the amount of water in the rivers which have been causing erosions along the banks of the rivers thus environmental degradation. This result to the deposition of the silt into the dam. The silt is always the fertile layer of the soil that is suitable for the farming activities thus making the land unproductive. This makes the farming activities to rag behind in the growth and expansion of the human activities.
With the study conducted by McGrath & Smith (2008), the dam may also have been linked to the occurrence of some earthquakes despite its detective role. The May 2008 earthquake that killed about 87,000 people is one of the quakes that are associated with the dam; this caused a large loss to China. This was due to the increased capacity of the dam thus causing an increase in the earths overlaying weight which lead to the seismic activity. This weight remains unsustainable by the earth’s core thus triggering the occurrence of an earthquake.
Contradiction related to Three Gorges Dam
With the construction of the dam there is violence that has come up with its construction which ranges from economic, social, cultural, as well as political issues. The dam’s relocation areas call for the NGO’s support in moving the migrants to their new homes. This act of the resettlement of the people has alarmed for the disagreements with the government on the measures to move the people to new homes (Burgh & Rong, 2011). The government is forced to incorporate the able investors in the resettlement of the migrants.
Hong (2004), reports said that there was increasing tension among the officials about the first resettlement stage of the migrants from the construction site. The government take was, however, supported by the world banks and valued the move as a way of promoting the international development and enhancing the respect of human rights in the country. It also added that they are always but mere promises and they are never fulfilled to the displaced people.
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