JCCC Honors Journal


The Three Gorges Dam was built to provide hydroelectric power, flood control, and greater navigation access to the Yangtze River in central China. It is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world and as such is responsible for bringing both unprecedented benefits and risks to the people of the Yangtze River Valley and all of China. In some cases the dam has been the cause of great devastation including the destruction of both the environment and rich cultural heritage of the Yangtze River valley, but it has also spurred a greater concern for the protection and conservation of both the environment and the way of life for many of the Chinese people. While many of the consequences of the dam will not be felt for many years, both the Chinese and the world will be looking to the dam as an example of the future feasibility of hydroelectric power. This paper analyzes the drawbacks of constructing such an enormous dam as well as the benefits.