The Three Gorges Dam: The True Cost of Limitless Power and Hydroelectricity

Since June, heavy rains in China’s Yangtze river basin have caused the mighty river and many of it’s tributaries to swell from their banks and into Chinese communities.

The Three Gorges Dam sits at the center of this very real crisis, that has been given limited coverage by sources outside of Chinese state run news agencies.

The historic flooding ripped through densely populated Chinese provinces, towns and counties and the downpours quickly overwhelmed millions of people.

In this article I am going to explain the events that have taken place and the current status of the crisis, to the best of my abilities.

The Genesis

In early June, heavy rains began falling in many parts of China. As a nation the Chinese people are accustomed to heavy seasonal rains and the wrath of mother nature, which comes in the form of frequent flash flooding and landslides. But this year the rains started almost a full month early with parts of the now waterlogged nation receiving rain that is easier to measure in terms of yards instead of millimeters or inches. The sudden rush of water left many of the nation’s people scrambling to secure their belongings, livestock, businesses, and some even struggling for their existence.

The Crisis Deepens

As the rains continued throughout June many lakes and tributaries along the Yangtze also swelled to levels unseen for at least 30 years, possibly longer. Poyang Lake and the surrounding communities were inundated by floods that left many communities under water. Only the roofs of untold numbers of homes in this heavily populated community were left poking above the deluge.

Landslides began taking place, dozens per day, possibly more. But, the landslides were a minor issue compared to the potential crisis developing in the reservoir of the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, The Three Gorges Dam.

From late June throughout the entire month of July the dam was battered by wave after wave of flood waters. This in turn has caused the water level behind the dam to rise above safe levels. The Chinese government has been scrambling to respond and since that time has (at least according to their reports) activated it’s highest level of emergency flood response measures in most areas along the Yangtze.

What we do know

Reports from many citizens on the ground who’s lives and entire way of life have literally been swept away by the waters differ from the official narrative. Many report that the government has removed or blown open several damns and dykes without prior notice.

Chinese state media announced on Sunday that it blasted holes in the Chuhe River dam in order to “alleviate the pressure of flood control” at the massive Three Gorges Dam, which is straining under the pressure from flooding of the mighty Yangtze River.

Breitbart- July 20, 2020

In early August video surfaced of hundreds of farmers heading towards higher ground (see our video series on the dam for reference) after waters inundated thousands of acres of farmland, seemingly without warning. The C.C.P. has been trying to alleviate pressure on the Three Gorges Dam and the series of large dams along the Yangtze river, but why was a warning not issued to the nation’s people? Many of which already have very little in terms of financial assets or means to rebuild.

In Shexian, a county that suffered its worst flooding in decades this month when an upstream dam overflowed in the middle of the night, residents said they had been given no warning. July 28, 2020

“If the government just gave us half a day’s warning, I could have saved $14,000 to $28,000 in damage,” Shao said. He’d lost at least $43,000, he said, and had received no government relief, a maddening, if typical, setback in this region. July 28, 2020

The people of the nation have suffered the most throughout this ongoing crisis. The catastrophe has only been made worse in recent weeks with the start of typhoon season as Typhoon Hagupit dropped several more inches of rain on the already soaked east coast of the country, including the financial hub of Shanghai.

The Dam Issue

The Three Gorges Dam spans the Yangtze river in the town of Sandouping in Yiling district, Yichang, Hubei province, in China. Dating back as far as 1919 the Chinese philosopher Sun Yat-Sen openly wrote about a hydroelectric dam spanning the Yangtze that could generate 22 gigawatts of electricity.

After about 75 years of debate, controversy and civil war the project was finally approved, and on December 14, 1994 ground was broke on the worlds largest hydroelectric dam. The dam was fully operational almost 18 years later in May of 2012. The Three Gorges Dam’s design was modified during construction to add additional power production capacity, which added years to the completion date.

The project was billed as an opportunity for China to solve two very important issues that plagued the rapidly developing nation.

  • Flood control
  • Electricity production

The project was controversial because of the massive number of rural residents who’s lives were affected by the mountainous structure. Over 1.3 million people were relocated and many towns along the banks of the mighty river were submerged to make way for the dams reservoir, which can hold almost 32 billion acre-feet of water when filled to its 175 meter capacity.

The role the dam has played in flood control has been debated essentially since ground broke, as three floods have already pushed the dam to the limits of it’s capacity, including two floods that took place before the dam was fully operational (2008, 2010). The series of floods in 2020 have caused Chinese officials to admit that the structure had ‘deformed slightly’ due to the intense stress caused by the massive wall of water retained by the dam.

In a rare revelation, Beijing has admitted that its 2.4-kilometer Three Gorges Dam spanning the Yangtze River in Hubei province “deformed slightly” after record flooding.

asia times july 21, 2020

The official Xinhua News Agency quoted the operator of the the world’s largest hydroelectric gravity dam as saying that some nonstructural, peripheral parts of the dam had buckled.

Asia times July 21, 2020

Many critics believe that the people who call the Yangtze’s basin home are suffering far worse now that the ‘state of the art’ flood control facility is operational.

In addition, critics say that the dams construction was for one purpose only and that was to generate massive amounts of energy, that has in part powered the nation’s economic resurgence.

China’s Stance

Chinese authorities have repeatedly said that the dam has controlled the copious amounts of water that have battered the structure for almost two months. China has also said that the dam cannot control water that ends up in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze basin without having a chance to pass through the facility. Chinese officials have also downplayed their admission of the damage and say the extent is minimal. The C.C.P. reassures the millions of residents below the dam that the deformations on the surface of the structure are well within safe parameters, and not to worry about the possible 300+ foot wall of water behind it.

Further Controversies

I recently watched an interesting documentary about the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. In the film, they explained that when engineers dug to the depths required to build the dam they encountered bedrock and constructed the dam directly on top of the solid rock, without any additional anchoring. Some believe that it is possible over time for water to work it’s way under the dam and weaken the structure from beneath, eventually causing a catastrophic failure.

Others cite a satellite photo supposedly taken in 2018 as proof that there are deformations on the dams walls.

Final Thoughts

In the end nobody honestly knows if the dam is going to fail or not. So far it’s still standing, despite taking massive amounts of punishment from the elements. What I do know for sure is if the dam did fail, a 300+ foot wall of water would inundate millions of acres of farmland, countless homes, and in some way, shape or form affect the life of every Chinese citizen.

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Six crafty ways to keep bees away

Bees are great for our environment, they help with pollinating plants, but at the same time they can be very dangerous. Most of us are afraid of bees and always want to find safe ways to keep them away. With that in mind, here are some methods you can use to keep bees away.

  • 1. Cucumber Peel
  • 2. Organic Baby Powder
  • 3. Crushed Garlic
  • 4. Cinnamon
  • 5. Peppermint
  • 6. Citronella Candles

Cucumber Peel

Cucumber peel is a great solution for keeping bees away from a certain location. Granted, this is the type of thing that can work for a small area. But it can work great if you want to open your door or window without having bees come inside your home. This approach can even work for your garden, so you definitely need to at least consider giving it a shot for yourself, it’s well worth it. 

Organic Baby Powder

It might not seem like a lot, but organic baby powder can also help you keep bees away. The thing to keep in mind here is that it has compounds which bees dislike, and they will not come anywhere near organic baby powder. Just spread this as much as you can and it will certainly help you prevent bees from coming your way.

Crushed Garlic

Garlic has a very powerful smell, and crushing it only makes things worse. However, it can also be a good thing if you want to keep bees away. What you want to do here is to chop it up and then let it soak in water. You will not have problems with any bees for a very long time.


In this case you just need to spread some cinnamon in those places where bees tend to hang out the most. In addition, this is not something you want to do on a daily basis, since it has a long lasting effect. One thing to keep in mind is to use extra caution when applying anything near bees. If your dealing with a hive or large nest nearby then it might be best to call a professional.


As you can imagine, bees dislike the smell of peppermint. You can place some peppermint plants either around your house or outside, and you will be safe. Those bees will not come near your peppermint, as that strong smell is often too powerful for them.

Citronella Candles

These candles use a different approach. Instead of generating a smell that repels bees, Citronella Candles actually mask those odors that bees are attracted to. As a result, bees will not be interested in that location anymore. It’s a great way to think outside the box, but it’s extremely efficient.


It’s not easy to keep bees away, especially during spring or summer. But these tips and tricks should offer you a good insight into what methods work as bee repellents. All you need to do is to give them a try for yourself and you will be incredibly impressed with the results and free of pesky stingers. Plus, you can always adapt and adjust based on the situation. However, all these methods are proven to work and a lot of people kept bees away by applying them!

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- 10 Ways to prepare for a water crisis

10 Ways to prepare for a water crisis

Our society can face many challenges, from a global pandemic to a potential water crisis. Understanding how such an issue can arise and how to properly handle it is extremely important, and it all comes down to finding the right solutions you can use to be prepared for any situation. In this article I will cover some of the methods you can apply to be fully prepared for a water crisis.

  • 1. Purchase specialized water containers
  • 2. Buy Water Filters
  • 3. Purchase a dehumidifier
  • 4. Dig a well
  • 5. Create a rainwater collection system
  • 6. Store water in stainless steel drums
  • 7. Oxygenating flat water
  • 8. Clean without water and soap
  • 9. Freeze water jugs
  • 10. Set water restrictions throughout your home

Purchase specialized water containers

Water containers are very helpful because they have a tight seal and no contaminants will be able to reach your water. Plus, they can also stack like blocks. That makes them incredibly easy to use and versatile as well. The last thing you want is to not have access to water during a shortage, so the simple idea of using water containers might actually save your life. These containers are affordable options and they are generally constructed well and last for ages.

Buy water filters

During a water shortage you could find yourself dealing with water that’s not really clean. So it makes sense to stock up on some water filters early on. The main idea here is to look for filters that will remove pathogens and bacteria from your water. They can’t remove heavy metals, but that’s not a problem unless you drink a lot of that water. Reverse osmosis filters are the best ones, even if they are a tad more expensive.

Purchase a dehumidifier

How can a dehumidifier help you? The main focus here is that you will be able to turn air into water and it might actually come in handy. However, a dehumidifier relies on electricity, so you can only use it indoors. The resulting water also needs to be purified, maybe you can use some of the water filters that I mentioned above. The approach can still be a very good one, you just have to adapt accordingly and it will be well worth the effort.

Dig a well

This approach is a good one because you will be able to access water from deep locations and it might even be pure. Even if it has some chemicals, many water filters and purifiers will be able to filter the impurities. Wells are a good idea for communities or large families. They can supply a significant number of people with the water they need long term, and that’s extremely helpful. Of course, digging wells can be rather expensive, but it’s an expense you have to deal with during a water crisis.

Create a rainwater collection system

It’s important to gain access to water the best way that you can. Creating a rainwater collection system might not seem like a lot, but it will help you collect water and then you can purify it on your own. The best part here is that you don’t have to buy the water, it comes from natural resources. Plus, you can buy DIY solutions that help you collect water with great ease. 

Store water in stainless steel drums

Stainless steel drums are great for storing food and water. They don’t let the UV light inside, so your water will be ready to consume, without any contaminants. Yes, buying steel drums can be quite expensive. But this method provides you with peace of mind and you know all the water you have will be ready to consume quickly and without any problems. When it comes to storing these steel drums, you want them to be somewhere without a lot of exposure to light. A basement or any dark location will do the trick just fine. 

Oxygenating flat water

Flat water might not be drinkable for now, however it will be ok if you oxygenate it. A lot of people are using this method to gain access to drinkable water, and you can do that too. It’s actually a simple and rather seamless process with great chances of success. It’s extrememly important that the water is properly oxygenated, do this and you’re good to go.

Clean without water and soap

Cleaning your home does consume quite a bit of water. You should store your water and not use it for cleaning. Which is why it makes a lot of sense to stock up on wipes and hand wipes too. Antibacterial wipes are the best ones, all you have to do is to test them out and see which ones suit your needs the most. It will be an interesting, rewarding experience. Even if this might seem like an odd solution, it makes sense to use it, and you can avoid wasting a lot of resources thanks by applying this method.

Freeze water jugs

It makes sense to freeze water in jugs and keep it in your fridge for a potential water crisis. A lot of people use this trick and it works very well for them. Of course, you can store a limited amount of water this way, but it’s an option that you can take into consideration at the very least. You just need to test it out and see what works for you.

Set water restrictions throughout your home

Setting water restrictions in your home will make it easier for you to control how much water you consume every day. Prevent the use of water unless it’s mandatory. Try to take shorter showers, don’t flush the toilet paper, instead put it in the bin. All these little things can help more than you might imagine.

Dealing with a water crisis is very challenging, and it’s one of those things that can appear out of nowhere. However, with the right preparation you will be able to make it work. Use these tips and ideas listed above, they will help you figure out a good, dependable way to prepare for a potential emergency. Do that properly, take your time and ensure you are ready for a possible drought or shortage at all costs. Buying the right products and setting up an anti-drought system can be a little expensive, but it’s certainly worth the effort! 

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Can you buy government cheese?

Can you buy government cheese?

In the 1980’s the Reagan administration began distributing cheese through a federal food assistance program.  If you’ve tasted the unique cheese from the orangish yellow block you know why people Google the question so often, it’s fantastic! But how did America get started on the free cheese kick and is there anywhere you can purchase government cheese today?

The beginning

From 1977-1981 under President Jimmy Carter the U.S. government pumped over 2 billion dollars into the dairy industry. This caused once struggling dairy farmers to have a surplus of monumental proportions. In the end the government was the proud owner of over 500 million pounds of cheese and dry dairy products, which quickly began to mold.

“Probably the cheapest and most practical thing to do would be to dump it in the ocean,” a USDA official told the Washington Post in 1981

The solution

The Agriculture Secretary (with a fittingly ‘cheesy’ name) John Block would show up to a White House event with a 5 pound block of moldy cheese. Block’s sharp action was the event that brought the situation to the attention of the now bewildered American public.

After severe social backlash President Ronald Reagan created the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program. This program assisted mostly low-income and elderly people with cheese and other food items.

The program was effective in a couple of important ways. First, the extra food nourished American’s that had fallen on hard times during the recession in the 80’s. Secondly, the program allowed the government to unload it’s mountains of quickly deteriorating dairy products.

Mixed Reviews

There is a portion of the nation that have not had the oppoutinity to eat the rectangular block of goodness. Others find the ‘free cheese’ to be too salty. But the majority of people I encounter say that government cheese makes the best macaroni and cheese, cheese potatoes and gilled cheese sandwiches they have ever had.

Where can you buy government cheese?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a goverment cheese section at your local grocery store or any online grocer. The truth is unless you actually qualify for goverment assistance you can’t legally acquire goverment cheese. But the good news is that several dairy producers make a product that is as close as you can get to the real thing.

Land O’ Lakes sells the product that is extremely similar to government cheese. Just look for the ‘Extra Melt’ cheese in the brown and whtie box. You can also buy it in bulk online at retailers such as Amazon.

If your wanting a smaller amount or you just can’t wait another minute for some ‘government gold’, the Fields brand is a close second. The 2.5 pound blocks are available at IGA and other grocery stores throughout the nation.

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