China Dumps Yangtze Dam Plan

Huge dam project nixed but many more on the way
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2007 7:05 AM CST
The Three Gorges Dam. The Chinese government admits that dam projects have led to collapsing riverbanks, dwindling biodiversity, and displaced communities, but say they are worth the cost.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – China has decided to scrap plans for a huge dam at Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Yangtze River, the Guardian reports. The dam would have left a popular tourist area underwater and forced 100,000 people from their homes. The decision is a rare victory for Chinese green activists, but they face many other battles against big dam projects in the region.

China and its neighbors are hungry for electricity and the hydropower potential of the country's rivers has proved irresistible, despite the risks and the huge cost to the environment. Officials say damming the upper Yangtze will help clean out the industrial filth that contaminates its lower reaches, and are now looking at alternative sites further up the river.