The latest controversy over the Three Gorges Dam puts the lie to the notion that the advantages of a one-party autocracy trump political gridlock.
(May 27, 2011) When China’s State Council announced there were “urgent problems” with the Three Gorges Dam, Chinese voices – both powerful and common – started to question its role in seemingly unrelated natural disasters, reports Bloomberg.com. In one both dramatic and comical example of a trend towards airing negative views, the popular, nationalist Global Times quoted dam expert, Zhang Boting, who offered this unreassuring gem: “After the construction of the project, there were thousands of minor earthquakes, which actually helped release built-up seismic energy in that area and reduced the possibility of big earthquakes happening in the future.”
(May 20, 2011) Probe International has added a new Three Gorges Dam monitoring feature.
(May 19, 2011) Amid power shortages and potential catastrophe, China admits to failings in the Three Gorges Dam. Probe International Fellow Dai Qing responds from Beijing.
(May 19, 2011) The world’s largest hydroelectric project was designed to tame the flood-prone Yangtze River and to generate clean energy. But the water is becoming polluted, and regular landslides are making life near the dam dangerous. Three Gorges dam is “a classic case in which government officials exaggerated the benefits and underestimated the risks,” says Patricia Adams of Probe International.
(May 18, 2011) China’s drought has caused the Three Gorges reservoir level to drop precipitously, crippling the mighty Three Gorges Dam. Shipping on the Yangtze River has now halted, power generation has been compromised, and geological hazards are heightened.
(May 14, 2011) If China has a garbage crisis, and it does, then Three Gorges is likely its biggest dump.
(April 7, 2011) Dai Qing, Chinese investigative journalist and Probe International Fellow, delivered the following speech about the Three Gorges Dam project in November 2010 while on a speaking tour in British Columbia, Canada. In her address, she reports that the problems predicted by dam critics published in her books, “Yangtze! Yangtze!” and “The River Dragon Has Come!,” are now coming true.
(April 4, 2011) A dedicated team works tirelessly to ensure the Yangtze River flows smoothly
(November 2, 2010) Workers finished removing garbage floating in the Three Gorges Dam in east China’s Hubei Province Monday, ensuring the efficient operation of the dam’s generators after engineers recently raised the dam’s water level.
(August 2, 2010) Floating garbage washed into the Yangtze River by torrential rains is threatening to clog part of the giant Three Gorges Dam, Chinese state media reported, the latest problem caused by devastating floods that have killed nearly 1,000 people and triggered several major industrial accidents.
(June 12, 2010) Huang Wanli, renowned hydraulics engineer and Tsinghua University lecturer, first voiced his opposition to the large-scale damming of rivers by opposing the construction of the Sanmenxia dam in 1957. In the 1980s he became a vocal opponent of the Three Gorges project and contributed to Yangtze! Yangtze!, the important critique of the dam compiled by China’s celebrated investigative journalist, Dai Qing. Now, as the Three Gorges dam is beset by monumental operational problems, Huang Wanli’s prescient analysis helps explain why it was a mistake to build the biggest dam in the world. Read his 1993 interview with Dai Qing.
(April 11, 2010) The large amounts of floating garbage brought by the summer floods which had accumulated at China’s Three Gorges Dam has reportedly been cleared to ensure the normal operation of its generators and system of boat channels, the local authorities said.
(February 23, 2007) China is on alert this year for the extremes of natural disasters. Water Resources Vice Minister E Jingping has warned local governments of the increasing possibility of floods in major rivers, and droughts elsewhere.
(October 20, 2006) The Yangtze River and Pearl River estuaries have been listed as newly registered “dead zones,” according to a study released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).