by TJ Marie
The importance of the Yangtze River in Asia
|Natural Boundaries: Rivers and Mountains: Assignment #2
The Yangtze River is Asia’s longest river running about 6300 kilometers long and has a basin that holds approximately one third of the population of China. There have been many accomplishments throughout history on this river. I will briefly go through some of these accomplishments to show how important this body of water is important to the everyday life of the people of Asia.
The world’s largest hydroelectric project has been created by the Chinese government at the Three Gorges Dam. This project was completed in 2006 and has a great toll in environmental impact to the Yangtze River and massive relocation impacts more than 1.3 million Chinese people. There is a big scale of controversy with this dam because of the concerns about major environmental impacts. These include, the relocation of 1.2 million people, and the flooding of thirteen cities, more than 1300 villages, archeological locations, and hazardous waste dumps were affected throughout the planning and implementation of the project. Environmental concerns include increased seismicity from the loading of water, landslides, changed ecosystems, accumulated pollution, increased chances for waterborne diseases, and changes in the Yangtze estuary.
One of the biggest early accomplishments that reference the Yangtze River is the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, constructed on the Min River in 256 BC. This project in the Iron Age, allowed a sizable acceleration of sedentary agriculture in the basin. This is an accomplishment of the Qin Dynasty during the Warring States Period. This project has been modified of the years and is still in use today.
This is an important body of water which has affected the people and the environment for a very long time, probably since the beginning of time.