Giant Dam Threatens Environment

The three Gorges Dam which spans the Chang River in central China, is the biggest in the world. Built for $25 billion, it is 2.2 kilometers (1.45 miles) wide and 188 meters (616 feet) high-higher than a 60-story skyscraper.

Even before its construction began in 1994, the dam was controversial; Chinese and foreign scientists warned about its impact on the local environment. But government officials kept a tight seal on their own opinions until this fall, when some of them spoke about an impending "catastrophe."

The most pressing concern, say the officials, is landslide control. The water in the 600-kilometer-(370-mile-) long reservoir behind the dam is undermining the reservoir's banks. At more than 90 locations, land has slumped into the reservoir, in some places churning up huge waves that have crashed like tsunamis into nearby shores. In July 2007, a mountain caved into one of the Chang's tributaries, pulling 13 farmers to their deaths and drowning 11 fishermen. Future landslides could force hundreds of thousands of people to move.

Source: Current Science Asia Edition

After reading the above report, reflect on the other ways whereby rivers are managed. What are the pros and cons of of river management? Are soft engineering better than hard engineering?

Read Users' Comments (0)

0 Response to "Giant Dam Threatens Environment"