China’s Great Dam Boom: A Major Assault on Its Rivers

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In their search for renewable electric power, China’s engineers have been building mega-dams at a rate unmatched in human history. Many far larger than the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River — which is 221 meters high and capable of generating more than 2,000 megawatts of power — are being constructed on China’s greatest rivers. Best known is theThree Gorges Dam, completed in 2008, which stretches a mile-and-a-half across the Yangtze and can generate ten times the hydropower of the Hoover Dam. Yet the Three Gorges is only a fraction of China’s current dam program. 

The government is now engaged in a new expansion of dams in great staircases, reservoir upon reservoir — some 130 in all across China’s Southwest. By 2020, China aims to generate 120,000 megawatts of renewable energy, most of it from hydroelectric power. The government declares that such dams are safe, avoid pollution, address future climate change, control floods and droughts, and enhance human life. 

Read more: http://bit.ly/1aqLTVQ

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