URBS 150 Lecture 10: 3 Gorges Dam Reaction Paper

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Minnesota State University - Mankato
Urban & Regional Studies
URBS 150
Raymond Asomani- Boateng

3 Gorges Dam Reaction Paper By: Jordan Petryniec The Three Gorges Dam was thought to be China’s new symbol of power in a world that is driven by the biggest and best new creations. However, today, it is viewed as an environmental disaster that became a reality through corruption, improper planning, and complete disregard to any given warning. The dam was China’s answer to control annual flooding, a problem that in 1998 displaced 300 million Chinese who lived on the banks of the Yangtze River. Most importantly, it was China’s 24-billion-dollar investment to decrease the annual burning of 50 million tons of coal with the goal of producing 10 percent of China’s total electricity needs by 2012 in response to the needs of its growing population. Despite these goals of economic growth and clean energy production, government officials took shortcuts during inspection to save money and refused to listen to warnings from engineers and environmentalists regarding the potential environmental devastation. The construction of the dam challenged government workers as they tried to relocate millions of civilians away from the Yangtze River. After the dam was completed in 2009, the water level of the Yangtze River raised nearly 600ft and flooded entire cities. In total, 400 miles of farmland, 140 towns, and 13 cities are now completely under water. In the newly constructed cities, displaced people have homes, but there are very few jobs available and many families now cannot afford to send their children to school. More than 1,300 historical sites, including the last place on earth to study the 4,000-year-old ‘Ba’ culture, have also been destroyed by the creation of the dam. The dam threatens the biodiversity of ecosystems in the surrounding area. Fishing industries are collapsing due to changing conditions of the water in the river. There are nearly 200 fish species only found in the Yangtze and as the water and weather patterns change, their food sources become scarcer. The dam has also naturally slowed the current of the river, resulting in the accumulation of silt along the basin of the reservoir. If too much silt accumulates, large cargo barges will be unable to sail through the passage. Cleanliness of t
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