The Three Gorges Dam project is presumed to be the world’s largest integrated water project to ever be built in history. It is also deemed to be one the most contentious projects due to its extensive social, economic and environmental impacts. Moreover in the very first copy of The World’s Water, which was published in more than a decade ago revealed the exact plans that were to be undertaken in regard to the building of the Three Gorges Dam project, together with its many expected costs and benefits (Gleick 1998). Hence a decade after the physical dam has largely been finished, though work is ongoing in regard to electrical generating systems and other extensive variety of tangential projects.
Across one of the greatest rivers in the world, the Yangtze stretches the Three Gorges Dam in more than two kilometers. Basically the construction of the dam was done in a stretch of the Yangtze recognized dully as the Three Gorges due to its canyons shaped by enormous limestone cliffs. The gorges which are known as the Xiling, Wu, and Qutang are believed to offer one of the world’s prestigious scenic landscapes and thus have long been a tourist destination spot from all over the world. Tourism has boomed in recent years with people rushing to see the very sights that will be destroyed by the reservoir and dam (China View 2008).
How many people were displaced due to the project?
Because of the high populations and the density of villages and towns along the major river in China, the constructions of dams have always led to the resettlement of the local people. Earlier in the debate concerning the Three Gorges, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (1988, 1995) approved that significant relocation and overflow of population centers would be some of the major frustrating aspects of the project.

The initial estimated populations to be displaced varied from around one million to almost two million. Hence dulling the project’s construction more than one million people have been resettled with official estimates ranging from 1.2 million and 1.13 million (Yardley 2007). According to (Dai 1998, Chao 2001, Tan and Yao 2006) some other estimates of the people resettled range from 1.3 million to almost 2 million.
How many towns and villages have been resettled?
Located in China and presumed to be the world’s largest hydropower project, The Three Gorges Dam is also deemed to be one of the world’s most frustrating dam. Having already been viewed as a massive project it sets record for the number of people displaced placing them to an astonishing more than 1.2 million. The number of towns and cities flooded and resettled at yet another estimated number of 1,350 villages, 140 towns and 13cities. The Three Gorges Dam project has been overwhelmed by human rights violations, corruption, resettlement complexities, environmental impacts and escalating costs.
What are the environmental costs of this project?
The environmental impacts of this project are cavernous and they are presumed to get awful as time goes by. The presence of the massive industrial centers upstream and the noted submergence of hundreds of factories, waste dumps and mines are creating a decaying bog of waste matter, sediment, manufacturing pollutants and debris in the reservoir. The alarming corrosion of the lake and downstream riverbanks is heavily causing landslides and is posing as a threat to fishing activities in the East China Sea presumed to be one of the world’s biggest.  Various scientists are also concerned over reservoir-induced seismicity due to the weight of the of the reservoir’s water.
Analyst also argue that the Three Gorges Dam project may have brought about the recent droughts through withholding significant amounts of water supply to downstream willing users and ecosystems, and also through the formation of a microclimate by its giant reservoir. Hence China’s highest governing body for the first time in 2011 admitted officially the very urgent problems of the Three Gorges Dam. It is important to note that while broad data regarding the project is available from government officials and local authorities; consistent sovereign information on environmental and social costs is harder to find (Dai 1994, 1998; Heggelund 2007).
What are the social-economic benefits and draw backs of this project?
Benefits of the Three Gorges Dam Project:
It is anticipated that after the project is fully completed, visitors from all over the world will be much delighted to see the great sceneries in the Yangtze River where a peaceful lake sits amid the steep gorges. Many scenic spots that were hard to view and enter are now reachable. Hence the very great scenery change will automatically attract more and more visitors to explore the Three Gorges.
Flood control:
Again proponents of the project believe that after completion it will serve to protect about 1.5 million people and 1.5 million acres of farming land situated along areas of the Yangtze river that are always deemed bare to flooding. Thus for this to be achieved the height of the waters in the lake upstream from the dam will have to be changed with variation in seasons. It is presumed that during the dry seasons the water height will be permitted to reach and stay at 185 meters above sea level, this again will be reversed more so during the flooding months and will be reduced to 135 meters with the main objective being the curbing and control of flood waters.

The Three Gorges dam project is one that has enabled the growth of the Yangtze River trade that accounts to over 80% of china’s main inland shipping. This area of the river is basically known for its dangerous shipping situation. Thus the lakes high water level heights upstream from the dam have been constructed to allow larger ships to make their way further through the Yangtze. After completion of the project in 2009 the installation of a ship elevator has made it possible for the lifting of the passengers and cargo ships of about 3,000 tons. It is noted that the new carrying system will cut transport costs by almost one third and increase shipping activities from 3 million tons to 50 million tons per annum.
Hydroelectric Power:
Upon its time completion in 2009, The Three Gorges Dam is dully presumed to produce enough electricity to otherwise supply over 3% of china’s power and energy needs. This will curb the growing need of energy which is increasing at a very high rate with time.
Draw backs Caused by Three Gorges Project:
Sediment Problem:
Sediment concentration dilemma in regard to the upper stream is assumed to be about 1.2kg per cubic meter and the total sediment across the dam site being above five hundred million yearly. The sand and mud deposited largely in Jingjiang River before the dam construction of the dam. This has raised the water levels and distorted the safety of the Yangtze River plain. Hence it was anticipated that at the end of the project, the silt would deposit at the end of the reservoir in the dam because of the back water.
Migration problems:
The migration problem has been the biggest to solve during and after the building of the dam. Of the total main investment migration has covered almost over 45%. Over 129 cities and towns are flooded with migrants exceeding 1200,000. It has been noted that many families are constructing their modern new homes around the dam’s vicinity. With this current situation whereby the infrastructure construction is rapid, there is a sloe development in the industries. Quite a number of enterprises have gone bankrupt with unemployment rates increasing leading to a lot of social problems.
Landscape Loss:
River Yangtze has flooded part of the landscape due to its increase in its waters; the scenery view has changed a lot unlike before the construction of the dam.  Moreover it is very disappointing that most of the scenic sights have dully disappeared. Officials of the high governing body of China have tried as much to save them, thus moving some to other new sites, museums or even photos to act as a reference for later production. It is for this fact that very significant efforts are been undertaken to minimize the loss fully.

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