Three Gorges Dam

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With reference to an area that you have studied, describe and explain the appropriateness of flood management strategies? (15marks) The Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River in China can seem a very appropriate strategy of flood management however there are some negatives that show that is not a full proof strategy. The Three Gorges dam was built in 1994 to try and reduce major flooding in cities such as Wuhan and Nanjing. It is 101m high and as well boasts the largest hydroelectric power station in the world with around 26 turbines. Behind the dam is a reservoir which can hold up to 22km³ of water, this act as a catchment are for flood water. In terms of its appropriateness it does have some positives to the strategy. This dam does protect villages and cities further downstream such as Wuhan and Nanjing because the reservoir acts as a catchment for flood water which can then be slowly released over a period of time through the dam. This means that in times of heavy rainfall large amounts of discharge which have a fast velocity cannot burst the river banks further downstream because the dam is reducing that velocity. This results in a lower velocity and less discharge of the river Yangtze which therefore leads to a reduction in flooding. The dam is an appropriate strategy for China in a sense of cost and maintenance. As China is a fast growing MEDC and an ever expanding economy the strategy of a dam can be supported here because there is enough money to pay for the cost and the high maintenance of the dam which ensures that the dam can stop the rick of flooding along the Yangtze River. If you were to put this strategy in an LEDC such as Bangladesh for example, because Bangladesh’s economy is not very good they would not be able to cover cost and maintenance which as a result the dam could not efficiently provide the objective for what it has been put there to do.
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