(June 29, 2011) The recent drought and the government’s mea culpa have refocused attention on problems at China’s controversial Three Gorges Dam. “The dam is becoming a symbol of all that is wrong with political decision-making in China,” says Patricia Adams of Probe International.
(June 12, 2011) A consensus is building that the Three Gorges dam, which the Shanghai Daily calls “that” monstrous damming project,” dried downstream lakes. Predictions to this end made by renowned hydraulic engineer Huang Wanli, nearly 20 years ago, prove to be eerily accurate.
(June 9, 2011) China’s government at last owns up to problems at its monster dam. The Economist cites Probe International’s research documenting a significant increase in earthquakes at Three Gorges.
(June 4, 2011) The Washington Post features Probe International Fellow Dai Qing and cites Probe International’s expose of a 30-fold increase in earthquakes caused by China’s Three Gorges Dam.
(June 3, 2011) The Three Gorges Dam project failed to consider the full impact it would have on the ecological environment during its early design, an official admitted yesterday.
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 25, 2011) Contradicting official claims that the Three Gorges reservoir plays no part in exacerbating the drought in the Yangtze River basin, Ma Jun of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a non-government organization, told Reuters: “Without the Three Gorges Dam, the water level in the Yangtze would not be that low.” Faced with the downstream drought crisis, Three Gorges officials have been ordered to release water, thus hampering their ability to generate power. Added Ma: “Fundamentally there is a conflict between hydropower generation and water supply, irrigation, and navigation.”
(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) Water depth at Three Gorges Dam stood at 154.8 meters on Tuesday afternoon.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(November 14, 2008) Many of the 300 representatives at a recent forum in Bangkok have blamed Chinese authorities for releasing water from three hydropower dams on the Mekong River in August, which devastated hundreds of communities downstream.
(September 7, 2008) Up to 20 million people, thousands of whom are already displaced from their homes following the devastating Chinese earthquake, are at increased risk from flooding and major power shortages in the massive Sichuan Basin over the next few decades and possibly centuries.