The news entitled, “China admits problems with Three Gorges Dam” was reported by Nature.com in their May 25th 2011 online news. The news relates to the WRE domain of hydrology and the specific issue of the occurrence and magnitude of droughts. In brief, this news article reports Three Gorges Dam (TGD) might has caused several drought in provinces at the downstream. According to the Xinhua News Agency, between January and April in 2011, rainfall in the Yangtze River Basin was 40% below average. The drought has been widely considered the worst drought in 50 years. This problem has devastated 3 million hectares of farmland, left millions of people and livestock short of drinking water, and threatened wildlife and ecosystems in many rivers and lakes, including the endangered Yangtze finless porpoise. Based on what I know about WRE the news story is accurately reporting on an important WRE issue. Drought occurrence and magnitude is difficult to predict and unlike floods or other natural disasters, the beginning and the end of drought are not necessarily obvious. Kent (2011) said more than one thousand hectares of wetlands have dried up entirely at one of the downstream lake called Dongting Lake. “…the millions living downstream who know that their water shortages began when the Three Gorges reservoir began to fill and that this year’s drop in precipitation was a mere aggravation of what has become a man-made problem” (Adams, 2011). After critical reflection on this article, I think although I don’t know if the present droughts are being driven by the TGD, but a fact is that since the operation of the TGD, extreme weather
events became much more frequent and severe in the recent years. We still don’t have enough scientific evidence to claim that the TGD has caused the series of weather disasters, but it is undoubted that the benefits resulting from the TGD are not as expected or designed before.
Water resources engineering is considered an interdisciplinary field involving the management of hydrologic and hydraulic systems to reduce any adverse impacts and maximize beneficial impacts. The hydrology drought issue in this news story impacts the broader WRE context areas of society and economics. The societal context can relates to human relationships, such as those between people and their government, between community members, etc, and they can relate to other issues such as economics, environment, human health, and national security.
The article relates that drought impacts society, and there is still no effective to predict to decrease drought risk to communities. I found that the relationship between the WRE issue of droughts and the context area of society is also wrote by Wurbs & James (2002). They wrote 40 million people reportedly suffered due to droughts of the early to mid-1980’s in sub-Sahara, Africa. The cause-effect between drought and society impact is as follows- a river and lake runs out of water the fisher will die and fisherman’s income will goes down.in addition, The drought will also stranded numerous ships. People ‘s live will be tougher than the other time.

References:

Adams, P. (2011, November 25). Patricia Adams: Did The Three Gorges Dam Create China’s Devastating Drought?. Huffington Post Canada Canadian News Stories, Breaking News, Opinion. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/patriciaadams/chinadrought_b_1108478.html

Kent, J. L. (2011, June 3). Has the Three Gorges Dam created Chinese drought zone? CNN.com. CNN.com Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/06/03/china.dam.drought/index.html

Qiu, J. (2011, May 25). China admits problems with Three Gorges Dam : Nature News. Nature Publishing Group : science journals, jobs, and information. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110525/full/news.2011.315.html

Wurbs, R. A., & James, W. P. (2002). Water resources engineering. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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