The World and Its People

Chapter 23: China and Its Neighbors

Student Web Activity

"Three Gorges Dam"

When completed, the Three Gorges Dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world. Although the dam has great potential for meeting China's energy needs, its construction has raised many doubts and drawn criticism from people in China as well as from around the world. In this activity, you will learn more about this enormous construction project, and you will be able to judge for yourself whether the environmental and social consequences are worth the potential benefits.

Destination Title: China's Three Gorges Dam Project

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the feature about China.

  • Click on the Three Gorges Dam link.
  • Scroll down the page to read about the controversy created by Three Gorges Dam.
  • Use what you have learned to answer the following questions.

When was the idea of the dam first proposed? When will Three Gorges Dam be completed?
What national problems do Chinese officials hope Three Gorges Dam will solve?
How do critics think the dam will harm the environment?
Describe the land and sites that will be flooded by the dam's reservoir.
Use the Internet to research one other major hydroelectric plant in the world, such as Itaipu Dam in Paraguay, Guri in Venezuela, or Grand Coulee in the United States. Create a chart comparing it to Three Gorges Dam in terms of cost, size, number of years to build, number of workers involved, and environmental and social impacts.
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