World to Get Its Tallest Dam

1,030-footer gets OK from environmental ministry

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted May 17, 2013 11:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – The title of world's tallest dam may shift to a new country in a decade's time. Plans for a 1,030-foot dam—45 feet taller than the current title holder, Tajikistan's Nurek dam—have gotten the green light from China's environmental ministry. The $4.4 billion dam would enable a hydropower project earmarked for Sichuan province and produce twice as much energy as the Hoover Dam. True to form, the OK came even as the ministry admitted that the dam would deal a blow to rare or threatened fish and plants, according to state-run media.

The ministry proposed some measures to combat the potential harm, including "protecting fish habitats in tributaries, building fish ladders, and increasing fish breeding and releasing ... as well as constructing seed banks." The Guardian notes that critics fear this and other dams' impact on the area's earth: It's prone to earthquakes and landslides.

This Oct. 26, 2010 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency shows the reservoir of the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, in central China's Hubei province.
This Oct. 26, 2010 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency shows the reservoir of the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, in central China's Hubei province.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Du Huaju, File)
In this July 2006 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, an aerial view of the Three Gorges dam is seen on the Yangtze River in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province.
In this July 2006 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, an aerial view of the Three Gorges dam is seen on the Yangtze River in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province.   (AP Photo /Xinhua Photo/Du Huaju, File)
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