The wisdom of building large scale-dams as a solution to power generation and flood control problems is increasingly being questioned.1 While the debates are highly polarised and many still see great benefits to be derived from large-scale dams, the drawbacks have become well known, so that projects are no longer automatically approved by governments and international funding agencies. However, the idea of building a dam in the Sanxia (Three Gorges) along the Chang (Yangtze) River in western Hubei province dates back to at least the 1920s and is deeply rooted in the psyche of those wishing to develop China rapidly (Map 7.1). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Chinese National People’s Congress passed the Sanxia Key Water Control Project in April 1992. However, the fact that close to a third of the delegates to this rubber-stamp congress abstained or voted against this project represented considerable opposition to what was normally an automatic affair.2 Moreover, since that date a considerable number of Chinese have written questioning the scientific and social value of this mega-project.
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- Recent Developments and Prospects for the Sanxia (Three Gorges) Dam
Richard Louis Edmonds
- Palgrave Macmillan UK