Environmental issues with the Three Gorges Dam

Environmental issues with the Three Gorges Dam

Environmental issues with the Three Gorges Dam, which is currently under construction on Yangtze River, include degraded water quality, detriments to wildlife, potential riverbank collapses, and potential silt related falling of coastal areas.

Currently, the quality of water in the higher banks of Yangtze is slowly worsening, due to the dam's preventing dispersal of pollutants; algal blooms have risen progressively since the dam’s construction; and soil erosion has increased, causing riverbank collapses and landslides.cite news | url=http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1671000,00.html | title=China's Three Gorges Dam Under Fire | date = 2007-10-12 | publisher = Time | accessdate=2008-01-13] The report detailing this was officially released in September 2007. [cite news
title= China dam to displace millions more
publisher=MWC News
] Senior Chinese government officials and scholars said the dam could cause a "huge disaster ... if steps are not taken promptly."cite news
title= China's Three Gorges Dam Under Fire
author=Lin Yang
publisher=Time Magazine
] The same scholars and officials previously had defended the Three Gorges Dam project.cite news
title= Three Gorges Dam 'could be huge disaster'
author=Mary Ann Toy
publisher=The Age
] However, the Chinese embassy in the United States has firmly promoted it. [cite news
title= People Are Better Off in Three Gorges Resettlement
publisher=Archive.org WayBackMachine
] Xinhua News Agency also reported that tens of billions of yuan had been spent to prevent pollution and geological disasters by tree planting, measures to maintain biodiversity, shutting 1500 polluting industrial and mining enterprises and building 70 sewage and waste treatment plants, all of which are "progressing well."

, a large number currently spend the winter in wetlands that will be destroyed by the Three Gorges Dam. [cite news
title= Three Gorges Dam Case Study
publisher= American University, The School of International Service
] The dam contributed to the functional extinction of the Baiji Yangtze river dolphin. Though it was close to this level even at the start of construction, the dam further decreased its habitat and increased ship travel, which are among the factors causing what will be its ultimate demise. In addition, populations of the Yangtze sturgeon are guaranteed to be "negatively affected" by the dam. [cite news
title= Three Gorges Dam: A Blessing or an Environmental Disaster?
author=Ethan Theuerkauf
publisher=The Flat Hat, the College of William and Mary’s student newspaper

While logging in the area was required for construction which adds to erosion, stopping the periodic and uncontrolled flooding of the river will lessen bank erosion in the long run. The build up of silt in the reservoir will, however, reduce the amount of silt transported by the Yangtze River to the Yangtze Delta and could reduce the effectiveness of the dam for electricity generation and, perhaps more importantly, the lack of silt deposited in the peninsula could result in erosion and sinking of coastal areas.cite news
title=Three Gorges Dam Project - Environmental Impact
accessdate = 2008-01-20

ee also

*Environmental concerns with electricity generation
*Environmental impacts of dams


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