CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: May 18, 2000
UI hydraulic engineers travel to China May 20-June 3
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- China's controversial Three Gorges Dam will be one of
the highlights of a scheduled 15-day Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research
study abroad program in China for 23 faculty, students and young professionals
who will depart from the Eastern Iowa Airport on the morning of Saturday,
Consisting of a series of lectures and tours and concluding with written
reports, the program is formally known as the University of Iowa International
Perspectives in Water Resources Planning study abroad program. This year,
participants will focus on historical, cultural, social, economic, ethical,
environmental and political conditions that impact water resources projects
in China. Previous tours have been to India in 1998 and Taiwan and Japan in
1999. Next year's course will focus on Eastern Europe.
In the case of the Three Gorges Dam project, students will observe progress
being made on one of the largest and most controversial projects of its kind.
Proponents of the project, including Chinese government officials, have pointed
to its potential to control floods, generate electric power and bring maritime
commerce to China's interior. Opponents have criticized it on environmental
grounds, noting that it will alter the landscape, inundate scores of historical
sites and cause the relocation of an estimated two million people from upstream
towns and villages along the Yangtze River. According to Marlene Janssen,
IIHR administrative associate, "The reason that IIHR initiated and supports
this intense learning experience is to give young engineers and other professionals
first-hand knowledge of local issues that affect water resources decisions
in other countries. This unique experience better prepares them for their
The program is sponsored by IIHR and the University of Iowa College of Engineering
in collaboration with Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering,
China Tsinghua University, Beijing, China Hehai University, Nanjing, China.
The course will be conducted by Professors Jacob Odgaard, IIHR and department
of civil and environmental engineering; You-Kuan Zhang, IIHR and the department
of geoscience; and Lea VanderVelde, College of Law.
For more information, see the program's web site at http://www.iihr.uiowa.edu/education/international/china.html.