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Advantages & Disadvantages of the Three Gorges Dam
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Advantages & Disadvantages of the Three Gorges Dam

Advantages of Three Gorges Dam

Operated in 1993 and completed in 2009, Three Gorges Dam is designed to serve three main purposes: flood control, hydroelectric power production and navigation improvement, which are also the great advantages of this project.

Flood Control

Controlling flood is one of the most significant functions of the Three Gorges Dam, and flooding used to be a major problem for the seasonal Yangtze River. With millions of people living downstream of the dam and many large and important cities like Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai situated adjacent to Yangtze River, flooding control has been one of the most issues for China.

The flood storage capacity of Three Gorges Dam Reservoir is 22 Cubic Meters, and this capacity can reduce the frequency of major downstream flooding from once every ten years to once every 100 years.

Power Generation

As the world’s largest power station of 22,500 MW, Three Gorges Dam project has installed 32 main turbines with two smaller generators to power the plant itself. From 2003 to 2014, the annual power generating is increasing and there was 83.7 terawatthours (TWh) in 2013 and 98.8 TWh in 2014. This electric generating capacity has largely supported the whole nation’s electricity usage.

Cruise Ships Navigation

The installment of ship locks and equipped with a ship lift on Dam, the Yangtze Three Gorges cruise ships heading towards much safer.

Besides, the Three Gorges Dam reservoir goes as far as to the southwest metropolis Chongqing, therefore it improves 660 kilometers waterway, and largely enable 10000 – tonnage fleets to navigate between Shanghai and Chongqing. The annual one – way navigation capacity of the Yangtze at the dam will be upgraded from ten million tons to fifty million tons.


Disadvantages of Three Gorges Dam

Comparing with the advantage of the dam, people focus more on the disadvantages of Three Gorges Dam, which is existed indeed and can’t be omitted. Among those bad impacts, Water Pollution, Migration Problem and Environment Problem to surrounding ecology and sceneries are the most disadvantages.

Water Pollution

Along with the river flowing, there is a large number of land experiencing erosion, which leads to tons of sands and pebbles into the Yangtze River and stay at the upstream and makes great water pollution about Yangtze River.

Migration Problem

Chinese officials estimate that the reservoir will partially or completely inundate 2 cities, 11 counties, 140 towns, 326 townships, and 1351 villages. About 23800 hectares, more than 1.1 million people will have to be resettled.

Environmental Problem

In order to build the dam, the surrounding landscape has been changed largely, which has caused some problems related to climate deteriorated, plants and wildlife disappeared, historical relics submerged, etc.

The Three Gorges Dam project construction has brought different advantages and disadvantages and local authorities are trying their best to reduce the bad impacts. Tourists can’t have chance to appreciate those submerged cultural relics but at the same time some new scenic spots with authentic sceneries are waiting for you to explore.


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Questions & Discussions

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How are the engineer\'s designed THE GREAT THREE GORGES DAM?
2017-02-12 04:13
Hello Abhinav wolfer,

Thank you for your question.
It is wide acknowledged that the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, Hubei is the world-largest hydraulic and hydroelectric engineering. And as a super big project beneficial for the flood controlling, shipping, drought resisting, electric generating, tourism developing, South-to-North Water Diversion Project, water supplying and irrigating, cultivating, and so on, this great construction took about 17 years to be completed from 1993 to 2009.
The Three Gorges Dam Project used the design of “the normal storage level of 175m, storage level of first-phase of 156m, crest level of the dam of 185m, first-class development, one-stage completion, impound by stages, and continuous emigration.”
After a lot of experiments and researches, and learning from many projects home and abroad, the dam project has solved many problems like large quantity of flood, high level of the tail water at the downstream of the dam, big weakening influence to the dam body, and so forth. Also, the hydropower station has reached a great progress by adopting the form of water intake of small holes. Since the successful completion of the Three Gorges Dam Project, we have really seen the merits and benefits from it, and cruising on the Yangtze River is a worthy way to admire this great work of human being.
Those are our brief answer of the design of the Three Gorges Dam Project, and if you are very interested in or want to know more about the detailed designing info, you could read more websites or books about it. And if you want to see the project with your own eyes, please just tell us!

Best wishes!

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