A water conservancy project should be built to relieve the threat China's largest freshwater Poyang Lake might pose to the bustling middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, according to a motion to be submitted to the Fifth Session of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) scheduled for next week in Beijing.
Located in east China's Jiangxi Province, Poyang Lake covers an area of 4,070 square kilometers and is connected with five major rivers in the province in addition to the Yangtze River.
The water control project is expected to cost about eight billion yuan (967 million U.S. dollars) and become another large water conservancy project following the Three Gorges Project along the Yangtze, according to the motion signed by 40 NPC deputies from Jiangxi Province.
In line with an flood control program of the Yangtze River, Poyang Lake needs to hold 11.7 billion to 12.7 billion cubic meters of water from the Yangtze during the flood season. However, the lake is able to hold only five billion cubic meters of water under the current condition.
On the other hand, irrigation and shipping in the lake area are often affected when the Yangtze River is in the low-water season.
Since the disastrous Yangtze River floods in 1998, China has spent three billion yuan relocating the residents around Poyang Lake. This has paved the way for the construction of a new water control project, as there is less work on the resettlement of local people and protection of farmland, according to the deputies.
(People's Daily March 3, 2002)