A massive landslide this week is only the latest natural disaster critics believe the Three Gorges Dam has caused—even officials admit there have been 70% more landslides and bank collapses in the dam’s reservoir area since it was built 12 years ago. Lily Kuo for Quartz reports.
(October 12, 2013) This Economist report looks at the gravity of China’s water crisis, once summed up by Wang Shucheng, a former water minister as: “To fight for every drop of water or die: that is the challenge facing China.”
(September 24, 2013) SNC-Lavalin may have to pull out from a consortium bidding on a contract to construct a massive dam project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(July 19, 2013) The World Bank is once again getting back into the risky business of building large-scale dams.
(June 6, 2012) Reporter Shi Jiangtao sounds the alarm on China’s dam-building frenzy along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, revisiting the findings of the 2011 Probe International study, “A Mighty River Runs Dry,” by geologist Fan Xiao.
In China, hydroelectric output dropped by 20% from a year earlier. Authorities are now warning of winter power shortages in hydropower-rich southern and central regions due to low water storage, leading to questions about the reliability of China’s hydropower assets.
Myanmar’s announced cancellation of the Myitsone dam on the Irrawaddy River has brought long-standing tensions with China into the open – including setting off conflicts with the Kachin Independence Organization in the north of the country. “It may be that the Myanmar government sees Chinese investment, in particular the Myitsone dam, as a destabilising force,” said Patricia Adams.
(September 29, 2011) Liu Zhi from the Beijing-based Transition Institute looks at China’s costly and chaotic dam-building spree, and the legal and economic reasons behind the bad investments.
An article by China Energy News Net reveals that China’s next Five-Year Plan will put huge emphasis on hydropower, with plans to build major projects on most of the large rivers originating in the Tibetan plateau and to use 100% of eastern/central China’s hydropower potential.
(August 31, 2011) Financial rewards for bypassing dam safety procedures have
created an unrestrained dam-building boom in China that is threatening lives and the
(August 18, 2011) “The Yangtze River will run dry” because engineers have gone wild, building so many dams that the amount of water needed to fill all the reservoirs along the Yangtze would exceed the flow of the river. So says “A Mighty River Runs Dry,” a new study by geologist Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau in China. Because there isn’t enough water in the Yangtze to fill all the dams to their designed capacity during the impoundment period each year, “an enormous waste of money” will result, with potentially staggering losses to China’s economy, 40 per cent of which comes from agriculture, fishing, industry and shipping along the Yangtze.
(August 16, 2011) Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, has called for a reassessment of Burma’s massive 6,000 MW Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project.
(June 1, 2011) A study by seismologists at the China Seismological Bureau indicates that the massive Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River caused a “significant” increase in seismic activity along the dam’s reservoir.
(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 14, 2011) If China has a garbage crisis, and it does, then Three Gorges is likely its biggest dump.