Name ______________________________ Core _________ Date ________________________
Trouble on the River
Resident Wang Zhonghe, who lives close to the
river, said that she was twice jolted awake by tremors
this year. Other residents tell of warped home
foundations, cracks snaking along the earth, and
buckled roads requiring ongoing repairs.
Another potentially deadly consequence of the
rising reservoir level is the risk of landslides. Recently,
a landslide killed at least 34 people living along the
Yangtze. Landslides occur as the result of water
seeping into loosely packed soil and rocks, making
them heavier and wetter. When that happens, the
HUANGTUPO VILLAGE, China In an
effort to provide energy to its more than 1.3 billion
people, China has undertaken the world's largest
houses and farms on hillsides gradually begin to shift
and slide.
The environment around the dam has become
hydroelectric project in history: the Three Gorges
so unstable, in fact, that the local governments have
Dam. The concrete dam is designed to serve as a clean
evacuated more than 1.4 million people. These people
energy alternative to coal because of its ability to
have had to abandon their homes and farms.
generate the same amount of power with less harmful
For those who are not asked to evacuate, there is yet
emissions. Three Gorges Dam, built along the Yangtze
another problem: tainted drinking water. As the once
River, was designed to produce 84.7 billion kilowatts
fast-running river water becomes trapped in the
of electricity each year. At the same time, it will
reservoir, it mixes with industrial waste and sewage.
protect 15 million residents and four million acres of
The pollution accumulates, making the water unsafe
land from flooding. The mammoth dam, slated for
for drinking.
completion in 2009, is already generating power. It is
also generating many problems.
The dam began to fill its 410-mile-long
Many Chinese government officials are deeply
concerned about the ecological damage caused by the
dam. Some question whether the dam should have
reservoir in 2003. Since then, residents living close to
been built at all. Wang Xiaofeng is the deputy director
it have endured numerous challenges, including
of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee.
pollution, landslides, and earthquakes.
He said that China risked disaster by constructing
Earthquakes are a known consequence of large
dam projects. They are induced by the filling of new
Three Gorges.
Despite these problems, the Chinese
dam reservoirs. The enormous weight of the water in
government argues that the benefits of energy
the reservoir exerts great pressure on the rock beds
production and flood prevention far outweigh the
below.
dam's drawbacks. Nonetheless, officials have promised
to take further steps to control the pollution while
Zhiyu, director of the Three Gorges project's
carefully monitoring the geological hazards. "We have
Environment Protection Bureau, "and everything is
resolved all the problems in the past decade," said Sun
under control."
Dictionary
dam (noun)
a wall that holds back a river's water
earthquake (noun)
flood (noun)
sudden shaking in part of the earth
too much water on the ground
landslide (noun)
a usually sudden falling of earth down a hillside
pollution (noun)
dirt in the air and water
ecological (adjective)
emission (noun)
having to do with the environment
a discharge of pollutants into the environment
hydroelectric (adjective)
induce (verb)
relating to the use of water in the production of electricity
to bring about
tainted (adjective)
spoiled
Multiple Choice: Circle the letter of the choice the best completes the statement. (2 points each)
1. According to the article, what is causing earthquakes
near the Three Gorges Dam?
A. The weight of the water in the reservoir exerting
pressure on rock beds
B. The accumulation of water mixing with industrial
waste and sewage
C. The speed of the water seeping into loosely
packed soil and rocks
D. The lack of running water in the surrounding land
areas near the reservoir
2. Which question is not answered in the article?
A. Why did China decide to build the Three Gorges
Dam?
B. How much did it cost the Chinese government to
build the dam?
C. Why are some houses on the hillsides shifting and
sliding?
D. How many people have abandoned their homes
and farms?
D. The need for China to provide power to 1.3 billion
people
5. The author's purpose in writing this article was
probably to __________.
A. Convince readers that China was wrong to build
the dam
B. Convince readers that China has all of its pollution
problems under control
C. Inform readers about the harmful emissions that
are generated by coal
D. Inform readers about the reasons for and problems
surrounding China's dam project
6. The article states: The environment around the dam
has become so unstable, in fact, that the local
governments have evacuated more than 1.4 million
people. Which would be the closest synonym for the
word evacuate?
A. Mislead
B. Disprove
3. The article states: Nonetheless, officials have
C. Displace
promised to take further steps to control the pollution
D. Misplace
while carefully monitoring the geological hazards.
7. Which of these is most important to include in a
Which would be the closest synonym for the word
summary of this article?
monitor?
A. Overhaul
B. Preview
C. Profile
D. Observe
4. What is this article mainly about?
A. The many problems surrounding China's dam
project
B. The earthquakes that occur as a result of large
dam projects
C. The comparison between hydroelectric power and
coal
A. The name of the deputy director of the Three
Gorges Project Construction Committee
B. The ecological problems created by the
construction of the Three Gorges Dam
C. The name of the director of the Three Gorges
Environment Protection Bureau
D. The length of the reservoir built during the
construction of the Three Gorges Dam
8. Which of these is an accurate comparison between
China's earthquakes and landslides?
A. Earthquakes can have potentially deadly
C. Landslides trap water in the reservoir where it
consequences to residents, while landslides can be
mixes with industrial waste, while earthquakes
stopped very easily.
drain water from the reservoir.
B. Earthquakes occur when water weight exerts
D. Landslides occur when water weight exerts
pressure on the rock beds, while landslides occur
pressure on the rock beds, while earthquakes
when water seeps into loosely packed soil and
occur when water seeps into loosely packed soil
rocks.
and rocks.
Opinion Question: Do the benefits of China's Three Gorges Dam outweigh the problems it is causing?
Thought Question: Identify and discuss the causes and effects of China's decision to construct the Three
Gorges Dam. Use information from the article, and your own ideas, in your response.
Math- 1. About 1.4 million people left their homes and farms near the Three Gorges Dam. China has a population
of 1.3 billion people. What percent of the Chinese population left their homes and farms? Hint-1 million = 106; 1
billion = 109
A. 0.01%
B. 10%
C. 0.1%
D. 1%
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Trouble on the River