China Three Gorges Dam: 13 facts about the controversial giant dam that slowed Earth's rotation

The Three Gorges Dam (English Three Gorges Dam) is one of the most ambitious and controversial projects on the planet. But how much do you know about the Three Gorges Dam?

The dam is a large barrier built to block rivers and streams to restrict and use water flows for human purposes such as irrigation and hydroelectricity generation. So the dams are amazing man-made feats that bring power to the lives of the surrounding communities.

At the same time, however, it is also a topic of considerable national, regional or even international controversy. And, none of these dams is as appealing as the Three Gorges Dam - a dam so large it actually slows the Earth's rotation.

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So if you want to hear the story behind the Three Gorges Dam - an artificial monument for innovation or a destructive animal? You will get answers through 13 facts about the Three Gorges Dam below:

Ton Trung Son, the father of the idea of ​​Three Gorges Dam

Often regarded as the father of modern China, Sun Yat-sen initially proposed the idea of ​​the Three Gorges Dam from the beginning of 1919. Toppling China's Manchu Dynasty in 1922, Sun Yat-sen sparked it. for the revolution of sowing the seeds of what eventually became the ROC.

In an article titled "Industry Development Plan," Sun Yat-sen proposed the idea of ​​building a dam that would not only help control the Yangtze River, but also show China's new power. . However, it took some time for the project to become a reality (commenced in 1994, completed in 2009).

Huge scale of the Three Gorges Dam

Information from China suggests that the Three Gorges Dam is visible from space, but scientists claim this is not true. Even so, this dam is huge. It is made of steel and concrete, 2.33 km long steel dam, 185 m high peak dam above sea level.

China has mobilized 510,000 tons of steel to build this huge dam. For comparison, this amount of steel can build 60 Eiffel towers, the symbol of France.

The dam is designed to meet the water level "once in a millennium" at 175 m or flow to 70,000 cubic meters per second. Currently, according to Chinese officials, the Dam's water level is 147 meters and 26,500 cubic meters per second, which is completely safe.

The reservoir area has an average length of about 660 km and a width of 1.12 km. The reservoir area has a volume of 39.3 km3 and a total water surface area of ​​1045 km2. When completed, the total wetland area of ​​the lake is 632 km2.

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Three main purposes

Although the Three Gorges Dam tends to attract more negative attention, the dam also has some noticeable positive benefits.

The Three Gorges Dam is designed to serve three main purposes: flood control, hydropower generation and traffic improvement, which some believe is a major advantage of the dam.

Solving electrical famine

To generate energy, hydropower projects need large infrastructure. The Three Gorges Dam powers millions of users with 34 huge generators with a total generating capacity of 22,500 MW. The Chinese government estimates the Three Gorges Dam project costs 180 billion yuan (US $ 22.5 billion).

The Three Gorges Project took decades to complete

For years, the idea of ​​building a dam big enough to block the Yangtze River seemed impossible. After the proposal of Ton Trung Son in 1919, until 1944 - 1946, the Three Gorges Dam was discussed.

The Republic of China signed a contract with the US Department of Correction to design the dam in 1946. However, this project was quickly canceled due to the Chinese Civil War that took place after World War II. Efforts were made to build the dam in the 1950s and in the 1970s, but social instability forced the project to be postponed.

It was not until December 14, 1994, that the Chinese government started construction of the Three Gorges Dam and put them into operation in 2009. To this day, consistent adjustments to the dam are made. show up.

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The Three Gorges Dam has been delayed since the start

Since the Three Gorges Dam was announced in 1994, the project has been writhing in controversy and delays.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2008 but soaring costs, environmental concerns, corruption and resettlement issues have slowed the project progress and sometimes delayed, with people Local people do more harm than good.

Water pollution

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the Three Gorges Dam is the extent of the dam damage to the environment.

It is estimated that 70% of Chinese freshwater is contaminated and the dam could make it a lot worse. The dam is located on the top of old waste disposal facilities and mining operations. Not to mention, 265 million gallons of raw sewage are deposited in the Yangtze each year.

Massive migration

When the project was built, 1.2 million people were forced to relocate and find new houses.

Currently, the Chinese government is still moving people out of the region and is expected to move hundreds of thousands more people out of the region in the coming years.

Better flood control

The seasonal flooding of the Yangtze is the fear of indigenous people year after year. The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, spreading 6,357 km across Asia.

The Three Gorges Dam helps keep the river in the flood season, helping to protect millions of houses and life downstream as well as important cities adjacent to Yangtze such as, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai.

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Power production

The Three Gorges Dam produces 11 times more energy than the US Hoover Dam built in 1936, becoming the world's largest power plant with a capacity of 22,500 MW.

The amount of energy generated is enormous, and the Three Gorges Dam is thought to largely support the entire nation of China.

Negative environmental impact

The area surrounding the Three Gorges Dam is home to 6,400 species of plants, 3,400 species of insects, 300 species of fish and more than 500 species of terrestrial vertebrates.

The dam affects not only these species but also their habitat.

Erosion of the reservoir has caused landslides and even threatened one of the world's largest fisheries in the South China Sea. The dam is so large that it creates a microclimate that threatens the region's ecosystem. Microclimate is a local atmospheric region that has a different climate from the surrounding.

Costly Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam is not cheap at all. The total cost estimate of the dam has fluctuated everywhere from $ 25 billion and has skyrocketed to $ 37 billion by some calculations.

The project was even opposed by the Chinese parliament because the cost, as well as 140 towns, 13 cities, and 1,600 settlements (historic sites), were removed for dam construction.

The Three Gorges Dam has slowed down the Earth's rotation

The secret behind this phenomenon is inertia. At maximum dam, the reservoir contains 42 billion tons of water. The change in mass of that size affects the Earth, increasing the length of a day by 0.06 microseconds.