Itaipu dam

Itaipu-Dam-3

Itaipu dam is located on river Parana river on the border of Brazil and Paraguay. It is the second largest dam in the world. The name Itaipu (which means stone sounds in Portuguese) was taken from an isle that existed near the construction site. Below are a few vital stats of the site:

Opened: 1984

Construction cost :USD 19.6 billion

Power generation capacity : 14,000 MW

Height : 196m

Number of turbines : 20

This dam was a joint undertaking by the Paraguay and Brazil. It produces nearly 20% of the power consumed by Brazil and 80% of the power consumed by Paraguay. As per the power sharing arrangement both countries are supposed to share the power equally between themselves, but due to low demand in Paraguay, it ends up exporting most of its power  back to Brazil. Itaipu dam is a combination of gravity dam and earth and rock fill dam.It consists of 4 smaller dams : the main gravity dam at center along with a wing dam and an earthfill and a rockfill dam on the sides. This was done to create a reservoir deep enough to produce the required power.

Layout of Itaipu dam
Layout of Itaipu dam
Itaipu dam at night
Itaipu dam at night
Aerial view of Itaipu dam
Aerial view of Itaipu dam

Three Gorges Dam

three-gorges-dam1Three gorges dam on river Yangtze in China is the largest dam in the world. Yangtze river is the larges river in Asia and the third largest river in the world. Here are a few vital stats of the dam :

Year of completion: 2012

Capacity: 22,500 MW

Type of dam : Gravity

Installed turbines: 32

Cost of construction: USD 26 billion

Length: 2335 km

Width (crest): 40m

Width (base): 115m

Height: 181m.

An undisputed marvel of engineering, it is interesting to note that Three Gorges has been in controversy because of displacement of  1.5 million people, adverse ecological changes, submergence of scenic archeological sites, threat to indigenous specious like the Chinese sturgeon, the Yangtze dolphin  and increasing risk of landslides in the region.

map of the Three Gorges Dam
map of the Three Gorges Dam
Downstream of the Yangatze river
Downstream of the Yangatze river
Satellite image of Yangtze river before and after Three Gorges dam
Satellite image of Yangtze river before and after Three Gorges dam
Displacement of humans caused by the Yangtze river
Displacement of humans caused by the Yangtze river
A man displaced by Three Gorges dam collecting his belongings
A man displaced by Three Gorges dam collecting his belongings