Three Gorges Dam Brochure
In his book “The International Development of China” in 1919. In it he wrote that a dam that could manage to produce 30 million horsepower (22,371 V) worth of electricity was conceivable downstream the Three Gorges Mountains. The River on which it would be built was the Yangtze River is the third largest river in the world at 3,837 Miles long, behind the Nile and Amazon Rivers.
In 1932 the nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-Shek began the first round of work on the Three Gorges Dam. In 1939, the Japanese forces took control over Yichang and occupied. With the fear of the Japanese advance a designed entitled the “Otani Plan” was completed. Sun Yat-Sen The dam’s construction was stalled until 1944 when the chief designer of the United States Bureau of Reclamation John L. Savage scouted the area and devised a scheme for what they called the “Yangtze River Project”.
As a result 54 Chinese engineers went to the United States for training in 1944. A lot of economic, survey and environmental study was taken out in the following years concerning the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. In 1947 however at the height of the Chinese Civil War work was once again abandoned at the site. Sun Yat-Sen’s Book A painted depiction of the Chinese Civil War John L. Savage of the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation The Communist Victory In 1949 the Communist Party of China (CPC) led by Mao Zedong won the Chinese Civil War against the Kuomintang
Emblem of the (CPC) Mao Zedong (Chinese Nationalist Party). Mao supported the project of the Three Gorges Dam but preferred beginning with the Gezhouba Dam project first. Mao’s introduction of China’s “Great Leap Forward”, and the Cultural Revolution greatly hampered the progress of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam once again. The Great Leap Forward The Great Leap Forward was a major program undertaken by the People’s Republic of China between 1958 and 1961which consisted of both economic and social campaigns. The plan had many objectives.
To begin with, it plotted to use China’s enormous population to move from an agricultural economy to a modern Communist civilization through the collectivization of the farming industry and a hasty process of industrialization. The campaign was based on a hypothesis known as the Theory of the Productive Forces. Reforms included the mandatory process of collectivization (farming being taken out as a joint venture by the people) and the banning of private farming. This policy was enforced on the rural people through social pressure. Propaganda Posters that were popularly displayed all over China during the “Great Leap Forward” Era.
They display a picture of Success and progress contrary to the true results (1958-1961). Mao was informed beforehand of the ominous possibility of a disaster due to grain shortages but instead sped up the campaign. This would prove to be a great disaster and lead to the Great Chinese Famine, eventually more than 15 million and possibly 26 million people would die of starvation between 1959 and 1961. The “Great Leap Forward” was officially abandoned in late 1961.
The Cultural Revolution The Cultural Revolution was Mao Zedong’s attempt to regain prominence fter his marginalization in early 1962, due to the failure of the “Great Leap Forward”. The Revolution was a socio-political movement which took place between 1966 and 1976. The goal of the movement was to impose socialism in China through the removal of capitalist, traditional and cultural elements of Chinese society and the impose Maoism within the Propaganda Poster for the Cultural Revolution Communist Party of China. Mao suspected that burgeois elements were infiltrating the Government and Chinese society and were trying to re-establish Capitalism in China.
Mao suggested that the only way to remove these elements was through a violent class struggle. The Chinese youth, inspired by Mao’s declaration and ideology formed Red Guard groups across the country. The movement eventually quickly spread into the military, middle-class urban workers and even the Communist leadership itself. People from all walks of life from senior officials to teachers were purged as they were accused of being anti-Socialist. Some officials who were purged would even form China’s next Government and included Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi. Propaganda Posters during the “Cultural Revolution“ Era.
This period consisted of an immense personality cult for Mao and the promotion of his infamous “Little Red Book” (1966-1976) During the Cultural Revolution Mao’s personality cult grew greatly, often to immense proportions. The Cultural Revolution greatly impacted on China’s economy and social fabric. Persecution became commonplace and millions suffered in the violent struggles that took place across the country. Many abuses were committed including torture, rape, imprisonment, harassment and seizure of property. A massive segment of the Chinese population was displaced, either by fear or force.
The most notable manner however was when youths were transferred all around the country. Historic monuments and artifacts were destroyed or damaged. Religious and cultural sites were ransacked. After Mao Mao would officially call an end to the campaign in 1969, but it would still continue until 1971. Mao Zedong would die later 5 years later on September 9th, 1976. He left a nation traumatized by his loss but also with hunger, poverty and persecution. Both the “Great Leap Forward” and the Cultural Revolution greatly hampered the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.
Both these campaigns would have a long lasting effect on China and diverted much attention away from it’s construction, to more pressing domestic concerns. Back in 1956 however, Mao Zedong, as a response to floods on the Yangtze two years earlier, had written and published a poem which he called “swimming”. In the poem he described his interest in a dam on the Yangtze River. In the summer of 1957 Mao Zedong initiated the Hundred Flowers Campaign. The Campaign consisted of letting other ideas and solutions “bloom” in a burst of free speech to the Chinese people.
However this campaign was short lived and lasted barely six weeks. Many engineers however during this time had spoken out against the idea of building a dam, but were subsequently imprisoned after the campaign ended. A Propoganda Poster for the “One Hundred Flowers Camapign, 1957. Top: Mao’s “Swimming“ Poem Mao Zedong in his Mausoleum Bottom Right:Time Magazine’s issue for Mao’s Death,1976. The Comeback The Three Gorges Dam reappeared as a topic in the 1980’s. The National People’s Congress (NPC), the highest and only legislative structure in China, voted in 1992 in favor of the dam.
Out of a total of 2,633 delegates, 1,767 voted in support of the dam, while 177 voted against, a further 664 forfeited the vote and 25 abstained. On December 14th, 1994 the dam’s construction began. The initial date that was expected for completion and full operation was mid 2009, however the many other components of the dam including the underground power plant to process the energy produced is expected to delay the date of completion and operation to 2011. The Ship lift area of the dam is predicted to be completed by the year 2014. The Hall Where the Construction for the Dam was approved in
The Great Hall of the people, the meeting place for the NPC Map marking the location of the Three Gorges Dam Panorama of the Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam Specifications The Three Gorges Dam is made primarily of concrete and is 2,335 m (7,661 ft) long, with the level of the dam being 185 metres (607 ft) above sea level. The Three Gorges Dam used 27,200,000 cubic metres (35,600,000 cu yd) of concrete, 463,000 tonnes of steel, and moved about 102,600,000 cubic metres (134,200,000 cu yd) of earth.
The reservoir the dam has created is about 660 kilometres (410 mi) in length and 1. 2 kilometres (0. 70 mi) in width. It contains 39. 3 km3 (31,900,000 acre/feet) of water and has a total surface area of 1,045 km?. On completion, the reservoir flooded a total area of 632 km? of land. Power Generating Capacity The Three Gorges Dam is by far the world’s largest Hydroelectric dam. It boasts 29 700 MW turbines and a total capacity of 20,300 MW. By the time of completion it will have 32 generators with a 50 MW power generating capacity each, which will make for a grand total of 22,500 MW. The annual total amount of electricity production is anticipated to be well over 100 TWh’s.
The Three Gorges Dam was constructed for five main reasons. First of all because of China’s ever ballooning population, the Chinese Authorities, with rising demand, simply needed a project that would provide electricity to cope with increased requiremets. Secondly, the Yangtze River was notorious for it’s floods which are thought to have killed more than 1 million people. The Yangtze also ran along major Chinese cities like Wuhan, Shanghai, and Chonqing. Because of this the Chinese needed a means to tame the river and control its behavior.
Thirdly, the reservoir that the dam would create could provide the precedent to build an efficient irrigation system for the farms in the area. Fourthly, the area of Hubei province, where the dam was built, needed a water treating facility to cope with increased demand for freshwater. Finally the Yangtze River needed a ship dock to deal with the increased ship traffic.