(September 5, 2012) Probe International has been at the forefront of research on the connection between seismic activity and large-dam construction, focusing on examples in China such as the Zipingpu Dam, which is thought to have triggered the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Now, a new article by U.S.-based quake warning advocate, David Nabhan, calls for a rethink of seismic forecasting in North America that draws on connections so often overlooked: specifically, the trigger effect of dams, and the impact of lunar and solar gravitational tides on earthquake activity.
(August 20, 2012) A severe test of the Three Gorges dam’s capacity to withstand a major flood peak in July initially showed the mighty dam ready and able. However, downstream areas found themselves at higher risk when floodwaters were released by the dam. Meanwhile, upstream areas are impacted when the dam holds floodwaters back. This article looks at the many pressures, and potential disasters, weighing on the ability of China’s biggest dam to fulfill its design mandate and asks: is July’s flood peak—the biggest test of the dam so far in its nine-year history—just the start?
(July 12, 2012) Almost 20 years in the making, China’s Three Gorges mega-dam was declared complete on July 4 when the last of its 32 generators went online, 10 years after the first turbine went into operation. There is no end in sight, however, for costs associated with the vast and controversial project, which remains closer to disaster than triumph.
(July 4, 2012) As the fierce struggle between China’s hydropower industry and environmental conservationists rages anew, what has become clear in the meanwhile: the country’s rivers cannot sustain the current pace of development.
(May 17, 2012) The latest phase of the Three Gorges Dam relocation effort is expected to move 110,000 out of the Three Gorges Dam danger zone to safer ground (earlier estimates put that number at around 100,000). A new report by Beijing’s Caixin Online looks deeper at the area’s growing instability, the disagreements over who pays for what, and how residents are coping as the earth shifts, literally, beneath them.
(April 24, 2012) The Three Gorges Dam project was supposed to energize the Three Gorges region but a new study from Probe International reveals the dam is jeopardizing a once spectacular gorges region and water tourist idyll, and has drained the area’s vitality, stability and ecology.
(April 20, 2012) A report by the environmental group Probe International shows 20 dams in the upper Yangtze are in seismically active territory. But moving citizens could take some convincing. Those who have been relocated for the Three Gorges Dam have experienced trouble getting settled and finding work.
(April 19, 2012) Around 20,000 residents from the vicinity of China’s massive Three Gorges Dam face relocation because their homes are at risk from “constant landslides.” Patricia Adams, editor of online news portal Three Gorges Probe, writes: “Twenty years later, the critics have been proven right on all counts.”
(April 18, 2012) This week, China National Radio reported a total of nearly 100,000 people in the Three Gorges Dam reservoir region may face relocation over the next three to five years due to the threat of natural disasters. Today, China Daily’s U.S. edition reports another 20,000 in Central China’s Hubei province are slated for relocation due to the risk of landslides in the dam area. The relocation process is already underway; schools and hospitals in harm’s way to be evacuated first.
(April 17, 2012) Nearly 100,000 people living in the Three Gorges Dam reservoir area face relocation due to the threat of geological disaster, which has increased since the dam was filled to its highest water level last year.
(March 27, 2012) Probe International is cosponsoring an upcoming two-day symposium on the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, at the University of California, Berkeley. The symposium will gather scientists and experts from China, and elsewhere, to discuss emerging problems with the world’s largest electricity-generating plant in order to mitigate harm and to inform future investments in China’s power sector. The symposium will be held on April 13th and 14th, at Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley.
(February 24, 2012) Reservoir-induced seismic events in dam-mad China are a growing problem requiring urgent attention.
(February 8, 2012) Admissions of trouble at Three Gorges Dam by China’s powerful State Council last spring, left many wondering how the behemoth dam ever got off the drawing board. Now, in a first, behind the scenes, account of raw power politics, Guo Yushan from China’s Transition Institute describes how Three Gorges critics were silenced, and China’s power mandarins maneuvered, to build the world’s largest and most troubled dam. Read this translation by Probe International of the article that went viral on China’s Internet.
(November 21, 2011) Matt Ridley, writing about dams and induced seismicity in the Wall Street Journal, cites Probe International’s reports on the consequences of building the Three Gorges Dam: the Yangtze is drying up downstream, and seismic activity has increased 30-fold.
To most observers, Chinese officialdom has supported the Three Gorges Dam without fail. But a closer look reveals growing worries about the dam which has become a symbol of all that is wrong with China’s rise. Here we present Chinese officials’ admissions of problems at Three Gorges, from the sensational mea culpas of senior officials to the subtly expressed worries of eminent scientists.