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                                          Three Gorges Project
Project Introduction
The Three Gorges Dam will comprise three parts: the dam itself, the hydropower stations and the navigation facility.
Graphic picture of the Three Gorges Dam (Updated on June 20, 2003)
Location: The chosen site is in Sandouping, northwest of Yichang city in Hubei Province and is located at the downstream entrance to Xiling Gorge, 40 kilometers upstream from Gezhouba Dam.
Project Schedule
Expected to have a total duration of 17 years, the work has been divided into three stages.
5 years (1993 ------1997) Preparation period and first stage construction.
6 years (1998 -----2003) Second stage construction
7 years (2003 ----- 2009) Third stage construction
First Stage (1993 -----1997)
The initial stage involved preparation work and in 1994, the project was formally commenced. In the main this entailed the filling of the cofferdam and excavation of the diversion channel in the first stage construction pit. At the same time, on the left bank of the river a temporary ship lock was constructed. The water and shipping continued to follow the original river course. In 1997, the successful damming of the Yangtze River attracted very many tourists at home and from abroad.
Second Stage (1998 -- 2003)
The main tasks of this stage are to construct the further cofferdams both upstream and downstream, electricity station facilities on the left dam and the installation of machinery. Meanwhile, the permanent navigation buildings will be finished on the left bank. During the second period, the river water will flow through the diversion channel and shipping will use either the open diversion channel or the temporary ship lock.
Third Stage (2003 -- 2009)
After the successful completion of the second stage, the third stage will become the focus of attention. During this period, the power station on the left bank and the permanent ship lock will be brought into use. All ships on the river will use the permanent ship lock while the river will flow through the permanent bottom and the temporary diversion outlets in the spillway dam. The dam sections and the electricity station on the right riverbank will be constructed, and the installation of all machinery will be finished. Once the project is completed in 2009 the depth of normal level of the water in the reservoir will be 175 meters.
Project Benefits
What benefits will Three Gorges Dam Project bring to the people? It is a very popular topic nowadays. According to the China's network, there will be four main advantages:
Flood Control: after the implementation of the TGP, its normal pool level will produce a flood control capacity of 22.15 billion cubic meters, which will be sufficient to control the greatest flood experienced in the past 100 years; With the help of the flood diversion structure, the Three Gorges Dam Project will protect both banks of the Yangtze River from suffering the kind of destruction that has occurred over the past 1000 years. The fact is that the Three Gorges Dam Project, like a guardian angel, will protect 23,000,000 mu of farmland (1,533,333 hectares), the lives of 15 million people and property in the down river area of the Changjiang.
Power generation:the river water will generate electricity in the hydropower stations. The profits are considerable. The anticipated annual electricity generation is 84.6 billion kilowatt hours. It will be the number one in the world and will play an important role in the development of the economy and reduction of environmental pollution.
Navigation:the 600km long waterway from Yichang to Chongqing will be improved, making it possible for 10,000 tons of shipping to sail directly upstream to Chongqing. The river transport will be improved from 10 million to 50 million tons per year and the costs reduced by 35-37 percent. After the adjustment to the reservoir, navigation conditions both upstream and downstream on the Yangtze River will have been greatly improved in those seasons when water levels have been low.
Tourism: The Three Gorges Dam Project will promote further tourism. As the largest water conservancy in the world combined with the world-renowned natural beauty the Three Gorges will become the "hottest" tourist and press attraction in recent years. See new attraction list of Yangtze
Conclusion:The Three Gorges Dam Project shows rapid change with each passing day. To develop tourism, the China Three Gorges Dam Project Corporation built the Tanziling to enable visitors to see the panorama of Three Gorges from the highest point of the building site. The exhibition house and environmental garden are located in the dam area, which includes the natural scenic spot Maogongshan and the old architecture Huangling Temple. Combined, these highlight the beauty of science and culture while showing the value of the Three Gorges Dam Project in China's water Conservancy effort.

  Already the experience of passing through the gorges is changing. Gradual1y,the narrow ribbons of paths will disappear, and many temples and pagodas are reappearing on higher ground, some escaping from tactless deveIopment around them. In some ways the scenery will actually improve--several dark, Satanic concrete factories and mills wi1l disappear below the waters as wi1lbrutally ugly accommodation blocks, their new modern counterparts on higher ground unlikely to win architectural awards, but still visually far more appealing. The colossal dam itself and the five-stage ride up or down it will be among theTiver's main attractions, and schedules will become more convenient as the deepening waters make night navigation possible on formerly dangerous reaches. Most travellers often feel the Three Gorges trip to be the perfect break from the clamour of China, and a cruise on the Yangtze is likely to remain one of the most pleasant memories of many China trips to come.

  The energetic visitor may climb to the summit of Wushan (Witches Hill), a two-hour hike. Worshippers still come to a small shrine here, built within the ruins of an old Buddhist monastery. From the summit the views of Wu Gorge and the river are spectacular. A less strenuous outing may be made to the newly opened limestone cave complex in Wu Gorge high up on the cliff face above the north bank of the river. This involves a short boat ride from Wushan town, an easy scramble up the rocky slope and then a walk along the old towpath. Around the cave complex there are the usual teahouse and ornamental pavilions. The cave complex, Luyou Dong, is named after a Song-dynasty official who visited Wushan and left an appreciative record of his stay.