“Shanghai at Risk” – Three Gorges Dam threatens “chaos”

Simon Winchester warned us all about it years ago in The River at the Center of the World — the Three Gorges Dam was a geological aberration that would one day reap its retribution on Shanghai. This Chengdu professor backs up Winchester’s claims and fears that with less silt and less water heading to Shanghai, myriad problems will result including less land, acute water shortages and water salinization, both of which would devastate local economies. Just one more thing for China to worry about. Thanks, Li Peng!

The Discussion: 5 Comments

Your work is excellent. Keep up the great work. I read you every day.

September 20, 2005 @ 10:23 pm | Comment

Yeah, they should’ve learned the lesson from our Hoover dam and plight of the great Colorado.

But have we once considered getting rid of the hoover dam?

September 21, 2005 @ 12:37 am | Comment

Stupidest comment of the day. You are definitely a troll. Was America’s leading financial hub (or any other great city) threatened by the existence of the Hoover Dam? Would you compare America’s dam program with China’s? Granted, we made some atrocious mistakes, but we learned from them long ago, and based on those learnings we and others around the world warned the Chinese of the nightmares the Three Gorges Dam would create in terms of pollution, water loss, Shanghai land loss and more.

September 21, 2005 @ 3:39 am | Comment

Marc Reisner warned us years ago in “Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Vanishing Water” that the dams on the Colorado River enabled and encouraged the building of great, sprawling, and probably unsustainable desert cities. Soaring populations and dwindling water supplies are certainly a threat. Anasazi, here they come!



September 21, 2005 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

There’s no doubt our dam system included some incredible screw-ups. But none of these were predicted and spelled out decades in advance throughout the international geological community, as was the case with Three Gorges. And in the wake of our screw-ups, the US has come up with some innovative solutions; my own desert city, a few hours drive from the Hoover Dam, for example, is making good use of underground aquifers and faces no imminent water shortages. Do you know of any American city threatened with potentially imminent chaos from the Colorado River the way Shanghai is threatened by the TGD?

September 21, 2005 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.