Three Gorges Dam 4/29/13
The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric plant built on the Yangtze River in China. It’s the largest hydroelectric dam on Earth and can be seen in pictures from space. The dam has been the subject of controversy and dilemma since its construction. Raising numerous environmental, ethical and social dilemmas that question whether the pros of the dam outweigh the cons. Although the dam produces a huge amount of energy for China it has created many problems.
The initial main purpose of dams was to control flooding until hydroelectric technology was invented. China has a lot of hydroelectric potential that should be harnessed reasonably. In the case of the TGD (Three Gorges Dam) China is trying to harness too much waterpower by building a mega dam. The TGD produces 18,000 megawatts of electricity, which amounts to 11% of China’s electricity. (notes) Although the dam does produce a great amount of energy the electricity isn’t being distributed to the people evenly. The dam primarily brings the electricity to the cities and the poor rural areas are neglected.
The purpose of a huge investment like the TGD is to be more beneficial to society than detrimental. On the positive side the dam is a renewable energy source but environmentally speaking it has done more damage than good. The construction of the TGD has had a huge negative impact on the environment all along the river. The controlled water flow has caused a decrease in water quality and changed the niche of many wild life species. Fish can’t simply swim up and downstream freely anymore which can affect their diet and matting patterns. The water behind the reservoir has destabilized some of the steep hills on the edges of the water causing landslides that can be very dangerous. (notes)
Socially the TGD has done a lot of good for China like controlling floods and coming in handy against seasons of drought. On the contrary the dam has also brought forth several negatives...