China Admits Three Gorges Dam Problems
After years of ignoring concerns from environmentalists and other groups, the Chinese government has acknowledged certain problems with the massive Three Gorges Dam. From AFP:
The State Council, or cabinet, acknowledged the environmental, social and geological problems in a statement issued late Wednesday after a meeting on the hydroelectric project’s future presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.
“While the Three Gorges project has brought great and comprehensive benefits, there are problems that must be urgently resolved in the smooth relocation of residents, ecological protection and preventing geological disasters,” it said.
The dam also had “impacted” downstream shipping, irrigation and water supplies, the statement said.
A report from Xinhua says the government is committed to resolving the problems by 2020:
The government will properly handle the negative effects brought by the project to the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and improve the long-term mechanisms for geological disaster prevention, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.
The government will also increase efforts to preserve the ecological environment and promote biological diversity in the areas impacted by the world’s largest hydro-power complex, according to the statement.
[...] The project has played a significant role in flood prevention, power generation, shipping and water resources use, the statement said. While at the same time, efforts were needed to address some problems concerning the well being of relocated residents, environmental protection, and geological disaster prevention — all of which should be solved urgently.
Read more about the Three Gorges Dam via CDT.