In today’s Wall Street Journal, the newspaper reports that “In China, New Risks Emerge At Giant Three Gorges Dam.” As you may or may not know, Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric river dam started in 2003 and completed recently, displacing over a million Chinese for its construction. It is the largest hydroelectric river dam in the world – supposedly more than five times the size of the Hoover Dam. The “new” risks emerging include:
“…landslides, water pollution and suggestions that the dam could contribute to the very flooding it was built to prevent. Geologists say the massive weight of water behind the Three Gorges Dam has begun to erode the Yangtze’s steep shores at several spots. That, along with frequent fluctuations in water levels, has triggered a series of landslides and weakened the ground under places like Miaohe, a village about 10 miles up the reservoir from the dam. Local officials worry that a whole mountainside here could collapse into the water, killing residents and threatening a vital shipping lane.”
The article goes on to describe the challenges of clean water shortages across China for both agriculture and the Chinese.