Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest power station generated by hydroelectric and has become a major tourist site along Yangtze River.
This incredible project is a move towards limiting greenhouse gas emission and reducing potential floods downstream with its flood storage space.
Controversially, the dam is debated to cause ecological changes as the dam is built in an area that is heavily populated, home for animal and plant species and on a geological fault line.
To date, the damn has caused several landslides which are directly linked to the filling of the reservoir:
i. The seeping of the water into the loose soil at the base of the area’s rocky cliffs is destabilizing the land and makes it prone to landslides.
ii. The fluctuation of reservoir water also causing abrupt change in water pressure and thus further disturbing the land. In the summer, the reservoir is drained to accommodate flood waters and raised again during the flood season.
Besides energy production, Three Gorges Dam aims to increase shipping capacity with its unique ship lock / ship lift feature. This feature is used to raise and lower boats, ships or other water crafts between stretches of different water levels.
During the cruise, you would have the chance to experience the whole 40 minutes ship lifting process and you can watch how the mechanism works at your balcony or on the front deck. The lowering and the raising of the chamber is done by adding and subtracting the water.
Ship entering the lift –> The chamber rises to the level which levels off with the water on the high side of the dam –> Ship exiting the lift