Historical roots of construction of 3GD Specifications of 3GD Dam politics & critical issues including resettlement issues
Early Stage ◦ First suggested by Sun Yat-sen in 1919 – potential for a large scale hydroelectricity generation ◦ Feasibility Study by US in the 30s & Soviet Union in 1955 Consensus building in the 1950s-1970s ◦ On-going debates on feasibility Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) & Cultural Revolution (1966- 1976) discussion halted ◦ Gezhouba Dam – a testing ground for resolving technical issues Construction 1970-75 planned completed in 1989
Reform period (1978~) ◦ More electricity for development required US Bureau of Reclamation study in the early 1980s ◦ Opposition – Political Consultation Committee, ‘No’ & unfavourable public views (Dai Qing) Breakthrough in Tiananmen Square in 1989 ◦ Emblematic event – opposition died, strong censorship on the media, big flood events in 1991 ◦ Endorsed in 1992
Primary purposes ◦ Flood control One of the most flood-prone areas ◦ Hydro-electricity generation Essential for central & eastern China, substituting 40 million tons of coal/year ◦ Enhancement of inland navigation Golden Waterway – accounting for 80% of China’s waterborne traffic Further project details ◦ China Three Gorges Corporation Webpage http://www.ctgpc.com.cn/en/index.php
Items ContentsConstruction period 1994-2009Location Sandouping near Yichang, Hubei ProvinceTotal Cost* RMB 200 billion (US$ 24 billion)Size of reservoir 600 km longHeight 175 mGeneration capacity 18.2GW (World No.1)No. of resettlement 1.4 million* Financing – 3 ways1) 3GD Construction Fund, collected by levying RMB 0.015/kw of electricity sold annually2) Revenue from Gezhouba Dam3) Domestic loans – the China Construction Bank
Source: China Three Gorges Dam Corporation Http://www.ctgpc.com.cn
East Big ships (10,000 tons) WestSmall ships(3,000 tons)
Political significance ◦ Undemocratic decision-making Little access to & manipulation of information Lack of freedom of speech (Dai Qing’s arrestment) ◦ Approval in midst of fierce opposition ◦ Favorable conditions – 1989, flood in 1991, Li Peng Leadership & actors ◦ Central government institutions – 3GD Construction Committee under the State Council ◦ 3GD Development firm, 3G Project Office – allocation of funds & construction ◦ Relationship between office & localities Responsibility of treating wastewater local governments Financially poor, bankrupt (Wanzhou)
The State Council 3GD Project Construction Committee 3GD Project 3GD Project Office Development Corporation 3GD Project Ecological &3GD Resettlement Environmental Protection Office Coordinating Small Group
Critical issues ◦ Human impacts – 1.4 million resettlement, more? ◦ Engineering concerns – alternative option, small dams? ◦ Cost over-run? – US$ 24 billion planned, more? ◦ Environmental effects – siltation, toxic wastes, earthquakes, rare species (white river dolphins) ◦ Water pollution – urban wastewater, toxic wastes (discharged from Chongqing Municipality, 40 million) ◦ Disease risks – malnutrition for relocatees, lack of medical services Wenchuan Earthquake, May 2008 ◦ 7.9 Richter scale earthquake, perhaps caused by the Zipingu Dam, 5.5km away ◦ 80,000 people killed, 5 million homes lost ◦ Three Gorges Dam?
Present state of 3GD Project ◦ 1st Phase: 1994-1997, 2nd Phase : 1998-2003 ◦ 3rd Phase: 2004-2009 (November) ◦ Water level reached full capacity (175 m), 26 Oct 2010 26 generators to produce 84.7 bil kw/h, annually (6 more generators installed) Government audit in early 2006 ◦ No corruption so far but resettlement problem acknowledged later ◦ By end of 2003, misuse of US$ 7 million of funds for relocation, US$ 5.38 million retrieved
Wushan, village affected by 3GD ◦ Many not received compensation, Yunyang county, RMB 20,000 planned to allocated to each family, eventually only 10,800 ◦ Less job creation – laid off from SOEs ◦ Tourism – stinky & stagnated pool of water ◦ Landslide – moving the resettled up to hills in 99 & 03 ◦ Many farmers forced to use their life savings on mortgages to pay for the new homes with US$ 25/month Challenges since its operation (as of Oct 2010, AFP) ◦ Landslides & mudflows: forced relocation of additional 28,000 people, caused by rising water ◦ Layers of trash & debris building up in the reservoir threatening to jam the dam 200,000 m3 of rubbish collected per annum 80 Olympic size pools, discharged by over 150 million people upstream
3GD – Engine for modernization? ◦ Flood control, hydroelectricity generation & navigation ◦ Critical issues Dam politics ◦ Water flows uphill to power & money ◦ Sanctioned discourse Hydraulic Mission ◦ Not reached the post-modernism yet ◦ More development for the next stage against all odds?
Dams for China ◦ Negative environmental impacts – developed countries decommissioning dams, i.e. US ◦ Hydropower/flood control – essential for China’s modernization? Yangtze drought (Guardian, 25 May 2010) ◦ Jan-April drought, Hubei worst hit 40% less than average ◦ Damage to crops, threatening wildlife, qustions on viability of SNWT Project ◦ A release of 5 bil m3 water from 3GD ◦ Sacrifice of hydroelectricity for irrigation, drinking water & ecosystem protection (finless porpoise) Why drought? Ma Jun, due to 3GD!
Three Gorges Dam (Discovery Channel, 2007) ◦ 1998 Flood event: justification of 3GD ◦ Three Gorges Dam – specifications ◦ Energy (hydroelectricity), Coal, CO2 ◦ Tourism & inland navigation ◦ Resettlement issues: 1.13 mil, 4,000 villages ◦ Dam safety: siltation, earthquakes Essential for China’s future?
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