We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the World's Largest Dam?

Michael Anissimov
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The world's largest dam is the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China. Structural work was completed in 2006. The dam is 2,309 m (1.4 mi) long and 185m 607 ft) tall, six times the size of the Hoover Dam. When its generators are installed and it goes online in early 2009, it will be the world's biggest power plant. The Three Gorges Dam will generate 18.2 GW, or about 2% of China's total power consumption. China's exploding economy needs power, and considerable effort has been placed towards alternative forms of energy which do not pollute the air, as China's primary source of energy is coal.

The Three Gorges Dam has been at the center of controversy since its construction was announced. Over 1,000,000 people had to be evacuated to avoid the flood basin it created, which is 660k m (410 mi) long and submerges 632 sq km of land. 1,200 towns and villages were relocated in preparation for its construction. Following an incident in 1975 during Super Typhoon Nina where 140,000 people were killed due to catastrophic dam failure, extra precautions were taken in the engineering and fault tolerance of the Three Gorges Dam. It will be guarded by large amounts of soldiers around the clock to deter possible terrorist attacks.

Despite frequent criticisms stating that the costs of the Three Gorges Dam could be as high as $100 billion US Dollars (USD), the actual cost is not likely to exceed $22.5 billion USD. Most of this is being paid for by a national tax on electricity. Officials have stated that the dam will pay for itself with power generation.

Part of the role of the dam is also to engage in flood control. It will decrease the number of major downstream floods from once every 10 years to once every 100 years. Its massive 22 cubic kilometer reservoir will regulate the flow of water, increasing during the big floods and releasing the water at a uniform rate, sparing people downstream from the devastating economic effects of floods. The Three Gorges Dam's reservoir will be 200 m (219 yards) deep when it is fully flooded.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.
Discussion Comments
By Feryll — On Oct 12, 2014

There was this group of beavers that would build dams in the waterway near my house when I was growing up. Watching them at work was unbelievable. My friends and I would go fishing and we would spend more time watching the animals cutting down and moving trees than we spent fishing.

From time to time the county workers would tear down the dam, and the beavers would build it back in short time.

By Sporkasia — On Oct 11, 2014

Most of know the benefits of dams. They are one of the best ways we have for producing electricity. And this type of electricity production is more environmentally friendly than something like burning coal, or so you would think.

What many people do not know is that dams can lead to flooding, which is responsible for unbelievable amounts of property damage. People are left homeless and crops are destroyed by flood waters. And of course, more importantly, people lose their lives in floods.

Dams also lead to more erosion and to the destruction of wildlife habitats that depend on the smooth flow of the water being blocked by the dams. You might be surprised to learn that when you add it all up, there are more negatives associated with dam construction than positives.

By Drentel — On Oct 10, 2014

I have been to the Hoover Dam and I can't imagine any dam being larger than that one. I went there with my family when I was a kid. We were going to see the Grand Canyon and my father thought we should see the dam while we were so close. I had never seen so much water in one place. It was amazing. It seems impossible that Three Gorges Dam in China could be six times the size of the Hoover Dam.

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology...
Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.