Why the Three Gorges Dam Was Built?

Facts about the Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest power producing facility, and the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. There were many reasons for building the dam and this article will investigate some of these. The Three gorges dam was built across the Yangtze River to control the amount of water allowed through. This created a massive artificial lake which has become an international tourist attraction. The construction of a dam on the Yangtze River had been considered since 1919, but the Civil war and Cultural Revolution delayed the project until fairly recently.


One of the main reasons that the Three Gorges dam was built was to prevent flooding further downstream. The need for a dam was highlighted in 1954 when people were killed as a result of flooding of the Yangtze River. The need for a dam was even mentioned by Chairman Mao, who wrote a poem in the same year called Swimming. In it, he had visions of a large stone wall being built across the river, similar to the three gorges dam.

By building a dam across the Yangtze River, it is possible to control the flow of water. This means that the authorities can literally eliminate the chances of flooding to all those downstream. Over a hundred thousand people were relocated to enable construction of the dam. This was viewed by many as an inconvenience. However, this dam is actually preserving many more people’s lives by reducing the risk of flooding.

Power Generation

Another reason why the Three Gorges Dam was constructed was to generate electricity. There are several generators within the dam which use the potential energy stored in the water, to generate electricity. This is sold to many provinces around China, including Shanghai. The ability to generate and sell power in this way will mean that the dam will eventually pay for itself and start making profits.

The electricity is generated without the need for fossil fuels. This means that it is green, renewable energy which does not pollute the environment. It has helped China to reduce its Carbon Dioxide emissions and also continue providing its thirst for electricity.

Environmental Impact

The dam has been designed to impact the environment as little as possible. It has meant that some ancient artifacts were lost, or are no longer accessible. However, it is stated that the impact on the environment is very small.

The dam has also been designed using modern materials and techniques to reduce the risk of it being compromised during an earthquake or other natural disaster.

Visiting the Dam

The Dam isn’t just designed to save lives and generate electricity, but it is also a very popular tourist attraction. As it is the world’s largest hydroelectric dam it attracts thousands of tourists every year. There are several different ways that you can visit the dam, you can take a Yangtze River Cruise, or view from the land. There is a museum and viewing platforms located close to the dam. These make it easy to see the whole extent of the dam.