Costing $22.5 billion, the largest hydropower project in the world is known to have created problems, as severe drought threatens central and southern China, endangering millions of people’s lives.
The dam produced a record number of people displaced, with 1.4 million residents relocated, as 13 cities, 140 towns and 1,50 villages were flooded, along with mines, factories, waste dumps and massive industrial centres, forming a festering bog of effluent, silt and industrial pollutants.
Saying that the dam would control the notoriously flood-prone Yangtze, China’s longest river, it has produced major shipping, environment, agricultural irrigation and water supplies problems.
Due to low water levels, two ships were grounded near Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province. Authorities closed down more than 200 kilometers of river for safety reasons.
As water drops in 1,392 dams in Hubei, to well below the minimum threshold, irrigation of farm land was stopped.
The dam's controlling body, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGPC), was instructed to augment flows to lower reaches, to assist in counteracting the drought.
Household refuse is dumped directly into the Yangtze River, due to China’s municipalities none provision of rubbish collection. Approximately 150 million people live upstream from the dam. The huge dam was placed under threat by ever increasing islands of toxic floating rubbish back in August 2010. The rubbish gets so thick in places above the dam that people can walk on the surface of it. Flooding up stream caused 50,000 sq meters of water to be covered by rubbish, although 3 tones were removed daily.
An official with the China Three Gorges Corporation, Chen Lei said up to seven million cubic feet of garbage - the equivalent of 80 Olympic-sized pools - is collected from the dam every year.
Chinese officials and experts have warned of the potential for seismic disturbances created through the massive weight of the reservoir's water on the region's geology.
Erosion of the reservoir and the downstream riverbanks has created landslides as well as threatening one of the largest fisheries in the East China Sea.
Corruption, spiraling costs, technological problems, human rights violations and resettlement difficulties have plagued the project from the outset.
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