China and Middle Asia

What is the Three Gorges Dam

The Yangtze River will soon be the site of world’s largest electricity-generating facility, the Three Gorges Dam. Construction began in 1994 and should be completed around 2009. The construction of the dam requires the relocation of over one million Chinese living upstream of the dam, as the rising waters will flood towns and archaeological sites. The reservoir will be approximately 600 miles (965 kilometers) long, spanning the Yangtze River in Sandouping, Hubei Province, China. The dam will be about 600 feet (183 meters) high, and 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) wide.

When operational, the dam will produce 22,000 megawatts of power, more than eight times the power produced at Hoover Dam in the United States. The environmental impacts of the dam are now being felt, with increased drought, less rainfall, and mudslides that can endanger the millions of people who live nearby. More than 1.2 million people were relocated from the area, and 116 towns and cities were evacuated in order to complete the project.


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