【英语中国】三峡大坝防洪能力“缩水”

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所属分类:双语中国

2010-7-28 15:18

小艾摘要: China's media is aflutter with questions about just how big a flood the mighty Three Gorges Dam was designed to withstand.Is it designed to withstand a) 'the worst flood in 10,000 years,' as offici ...
China's media is aflutter with questions about just how big a flood the mighty Three Gorges Dam was designed to withstand.

Is it designed to withstand a) 'the worst flood in 10,000 years,' as officials claimed in 2003; b) the worst flood in 1,000 years, as claimed in 2007; or c) the worst flood in 100 years, as said in 2008?

The question may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it relates to a serious discussion as flood-swollen Yangtze River continues to test the dam. Even China Daily, the state-run English-language newspaper, has weighed in on the debate, quoting Cao Guangjing, chairman of the China Three Gorges Corp, as saying in an interview that 'the dam's flood-control capacity is not unlimited.'

The discussion is important because one of the primary justifications for building the world's biggest dam was to control deadly seasonal flooding along the Yangtze. After the government approved construction, only a few dared publicly question the project.

So why are government censors now allowing this unusually frank talk? Partly, the debate reflects the assertiveness of China's increasingly free-wheeling media and online community. Since questions first arose about the dam triggering landslides in the geologically unstable region, Chinese media have been apparently allowed to challenge the once sacrosanct project.

Another reason could be that officials realize they need to play down the Three Gorges Dam. It's not the panacea it was once billed to be-even if it can effectively reduce some flooding. For example, the dam can't solve the problems caused by the loss of marshlands that acted as natural flood-zone buffers, nor restore soil erosion and deforestation that also contribute to floods.

Minimizing expectations ahead of time could reduce any backlash later.

Cao told China Daily that the dam can handle water flows up to 83,700 cubic meters per second, higher than 70,000 meters a second recorded during the peak earlier this week. He also notes that any dam has a maximum it can tolerate. 'Any flood with water flow exceeding 122,000 cubic meters per second would put the dam's own safety at risk,' he's quoted as saying.

So the question remains, could that happen a) once in 10,000 years b) once in 1,000 years or c) sooner?

中国媒体热烈讨论宏伟的三峡大坝应能抵挡多大规模的洪水的问题。

ZUMApress.com三峡大坝的水力发电机组三峡大坝的防洪能力究竟如何?a) 2003年相关官员号称的“可抵御万年一遇洪水”,b) 2007年所称的“千年一遇洪水”,c) 2008年的说法──百年一遇的洪水?

上面的问题或许有点开玩笑的意味,不过在长江洪水继续考验三峡大坝之际,这个问题却关系到一场严肃的讨论。就连中国政府运营的英文报纸《中国日报》也加入这场辩论。《中国日报》引述了中国长江三峡集团公司董事长曹广晶在一次采访中的话,他说,大坝的防洪能力并不是无限的。

这场辩论的重要性在于,修建这座全球最大水坝的一个主要理由就是控制长江沿线极其严重的季节性洪水。在政府批准建造大坝后,只有少数人敢于公开质疑这一项目。

那么,为何政府审查部门现在又允许当前这种反常的公开议论?部分原因在于,这场论战反映了中国越来越自行其是的媒体和网络社会的决断。自从有关大坝在地质条件不稳定的地区引发山体滑坡的疑问首次出现以来,中国媒体显然得到了允许,可以质疑这个曾经被视为不可动摇的项目。

另一个原因可能是,相关官员意识到他们需要淡化三峡大坝的作用。三峡大坝并不是它曾经被宣传成的那种万灵药──即便它能够有效地减少部分洪灾。举例来说,大坝不能解决作为洪泛区天然缓冲屏障的沼泽地减少造成的问题,也无法让受侵蚀的土壤和被砍伐的森林恢复原状,土壤侵蚀和森林砍伐也是造成洪水的原因。

提前将预期降到最小可能会减少以后的负面效应。

曹广晶对《中国日报》说,大坝最高可以应对每秒流量83,700立方米的洪水,高于上周测得的每秒70,000立方米的流量。他还强调,任何一座大坝都有其极限负荷。《中国日报》引用他的话说,每秒流量超过122,000立方米的洪水将危及大坝本身。

这样一来,问题又来了,这种情况出现的频率会是a)万年一遇 b)千年一遇还是c)间隔更短?

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