Inner Gorge Near Wushan

December 13, 2004


Provided by: Len Sharp, Liverpool HS-Annex
Summary author: Len Sharp

China is in the process of constructing the largest power dam ever attempted anywhere in the world. The Three Gorges Dam, which will be 607 ft (185 m) high by 7,575 ft (2,309 m) long when complete, is designed to control the third largest river in the world, the Yangtze River. The Yangtze is noted for catastrophic floods that in the last century alone have killed thousands of people and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. Aside from flood prevention, another significant benefit of this massive dam is to provide electrical power for approximately 10 million people. When the river waters are finally backed-up, a 350 mile (560 km) long lake will form, raising the water level approximately 574 ft (175 m)! Thus, towns along the Yangtze are being demolished and rebuilt on higher ground -- nearly 1.5 million people will be affected. A downside of this massive project is that magnificent gorges, such as the one pictured above on the Daning River (near Wushan), a tributary of the Yangtze, will be lost forever after the lake fills. This photo was taken on August 9, 2002.

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