Home / Environment / Photo News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Floodgates Opened to Ease Water Shortages
Adjust font size:

The Three Gorges Dam in central China's Hubei Province Thursday opened its floodgates to ease severe water shortages along the Yangtze River.


The world's largest hydropower project has been releasing larger quantities of water since late December, according to the China Three Gorges Project Corporation.


(file photo)


The company said the dam could release an additional 6.1 billion cubic meters of water to the lower reaches by reducing the reservoir's water level from the current 155 to 144 meters.


The dam, 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high, was completed in May last year and the water level in the reservoir was raised from 135 to 156 meters in October. The company said the floodgates could maintain the water level at 144 meters.


The Yangtze River, China’s largest waterway, has experienced the lowest water levels in around a hundred years since last summer due to scarce rainfall and severe drought in the upper reaches, according to the Yangtze River Hydrology Bureau. The bureau said that in 2006 there was 30 to 40 percent less water flow than average in the river’s tributaries.  


The Yichang hydrology station, downstream from the dam, recorded only 64 percent of average annual water flow. This is the lowest since hydrology records began in 1877. Water flow downstream in Hankou and Datong has also fallen off sharply.


The bureau said the severe water shortage had led to occasional reports of boats being stranded in the shallows and difficulties in water resources for industry, agriculture and households.


Cheng Haiyun, the bureau's chief engineer, has denied suggestions that the record low water levels were connected to the Three Gorges hydropower project.


Started in 1993 and costing an estimated 180 billion yuan (US$23 billion) the Three Gorges Project on the middle reaches of the river will have 26 generators when complete in 2009 and be capable of generating 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually.


(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name

China Archives
Related >>
- Water Levels in Yangtze River Hit Record Low
- Shanghai Looks to Yangtze for Water
- Water Level of Yangtze River Rises Slowly
- High and Dry on the Yangtze
Most Viewed >>
Air Quality 
Cities Major Pollutant Air Quality Level
Beijing particulate matter II
Shanghai particulate matter III1
Guangzhou sulfur dioxide II
Chongqing particulate matter III2
Xi'an particulate matter III1
Most Read
- White paper on energy
- Endangered monkeys grow in number
- Yangtze River's Three Gorges 2 mln years in the making
- The authorities sets sights on polluted soil
- China, US benefit from clean energy
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
- Green Earth Documentary Salon
- Prof. Maria E. Fernandez to Give a Lecture on Climate Change
UN meets on climate change
The UN Climate Change Conference brought together representatives of over 180 countries and observers from various organizations.
Panda Facts
A record 28 panda cubs born via artificial insemination have survived in 2006.
South China Karst
Rich and unique karst landforms located in south China display exceptional natural beauty.
Saving the Tibetan Antelopes
The rare animals survive in the harsh natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Laws & Regulations
- Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China
- Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China
- Fire Control Law of the People's Republic of China
- Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters
- Law of the People's Republic of China on Conserving Energy
State Environmental Protection Administration
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Land and Resources
China Environmental Industry Network
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base