For centuries the rivers and plains and basins of China have experienced periodic floods, but in 1998 several river systems overflowed at the same time. Over one million people lost their homes, and more than 3 and a half thousand people lost their lives. Human impact on the environment transformed a natural phenomenon into a catastrophe and focussed world attention on the issues surrounding water in China. This Earth Report travels to the forests of the Tibetan Plateau to investigate the role of deforestation and land degradation in the massive flooding that has taken so many lives. We visit the site of the World’s largest dam, at the scenic Three Gorges on the Yangste river – a controversial project which aims to control flood waters and generate electricity. And finally Earth Report travels to the Yellow River where waters are diverted to provide irrigation for agriculture, industry and domestic users.
Films in this series