Category: Yangtze Drought and Pollution

Drought? Earthquake? Blame the Three-Gorges Dam: World View

(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.”

Controversial Three Gorges dam has problems, admits China

(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.

Dai Qing: On The Completion of the Three Gorges Project

(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.

Huang Wanli’s predictions for the Three Gorges come to pass

(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.