Three Gorges, and a Myriad of Doubts

Globe and Mail writes about the problems brought by the massive Three Gorges Dam and the officials who are now regretting their failure to see them coming:

Today, 15 years later, criticism of the vaunted, $25-billion , after an eternity of public silence, is rife. The worst drought to hit regions downstream from the dam in more than five decades has triggered a torrent of outspokenness – sources range from high officials to peasants – on a host of problems.

Critics point to an increase in earthquakes, poorly-handled resettlement efforts, pollution, silting, seas of algae, erosion, habitat destruction, floods, and now, drought – all attributed in various ways to the Three Gorges. No wonder the Shanghai Daily on Tuesday referred to the dam as “that monstrous damming project.”

China’s governing State Council is among those admitting that all is not well. “Urgent problems must be resolved regarding the smooth relocation of residents, ecological protection and geological disaster prevention.”

A regional official involved in water management is also ringing the alarm. “We failed to think of all the impact that the dam might bring about when designing it,” observed Wang Jingquan last week.

See also an accompanying infographic on why the Three Gorges is being blamed for China’s drought.

June 11, 2011, 10:20 PM
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Categories: Economy, Sci-Tech, Society