Fast Facts

  • The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest artificial generator of electric power from a renewable source.
  • The Three Gorges Dam is designed to withstand an earthquake of 7 on the Richter scale.
  • Plans for the Three Gorges Dam date from 1919, when Sun Yatsen (Sun Zhongshan) saw its huge potential for power generation.
  • The Yangzi River will deposit more than 500 million tonnes of silt every year into the reservoir behind the dam.
  • An estimated one-third of China's population live in the Yangzi River basin. The river delta generates not just electricity, but around 20% of China's GDP.
  • Hundreds of catastrophic floods have been caused by the Yangzi River, including the disastrous inundation of 1931, in which an estimated 145,000 people died.