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.
(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 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) Amid China’s worst drought in decades, authorities acknowledge problems with a major river project.
(May 23, 2011) A government audit of Three Gorges Corp., the operator of the Three Gorges Dam, discovered 31 financial problems relating to “accounting, financial management, investment, bidding and corporate management”. Dai Qing is quoted on water shortfalls caused by the dam in this Wall Street Journal article.
(May 20, 2011) For years, officials focused on the dam’s achievements and tried to stifle domestic criticism of the project. As reality sets in, the government’s public analysis has become increasingly sober. But Probe International Fellow and longtime critic of the dam Dai Qing claims the government’s current efforts to ease the project’s risks are too late, if they’re sincerely meant at all: “The government built a dam but destroyed a river,” she says.
(May 20, 2011) Probe International has added a new Three Gorges Dam monitoring feature.
(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 19, 2011) In a rare admission of problems associated with one of its signature infrastructure projects, China’s government warned Thursday that all is not well with the Three Gorges Dam.
(May 14, 2011) If China has a garbage crisis, and it does, then Three Gorges is likely its biggest dump.
(May 9, 2011) The HidroAysen dam project in Patagonia is awaiting government signoff.
(April 21, 2011) Chinese hydrologist Lu Qinkan passed away April 11 in Beijing at the age of 97. Lu was known to the west as one of the most vocal critics of the Three Gorges Dam.
While many believe that nuclear is the most dangerous source of electricity, the designation actually belongs to major hydroelectric dams.
(March 2011) The giant structure located in China has already caused more than 3,400 (so far minor) earthquakes. Scientists are now warning that a much bigger disaster could be looming on the horizon. A study by seismologists at the China Earthquake Administration (formerly known as the China Seismological Bureau) indicates that the massive Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River “significantly increased” seismic activity along the dam’s reservoir.
(February 7, 2011) Here is an article on the Three Gorges Dam we stumbled upon written by University of Victoria PHD student Trevor Williams. The article was inspired by a seminar by Probe International Fellow Dai Qing presented at the University of Victoria.