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China to Investigate Soil Erosion in Three Gorges Project
China will launch an investigation on soil erosion in the Three Gorges Project, according to the country's water resources officials.

The Water Resources Ministry has decided to conduct the investigation to aid in developing a feasible soil erosion control plan in the construction of the Three Gorges Project, said Xiong Tie, Deputy Director of the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee.

The Three Gorges Project, which was undertaken in 1993 and is expected to be completed in 2009, is the largest water control and power project in the world. The reservoir will cover a stretch of 58,000 square kilometers, spanning 21 cities and counties in central China's Hubei province and Chongqing municipality in the country's southwest.

The construction of the dam and the relocation of people and industries will inevitably bring about soil erosion, Xiong said.

Officials said the investigation will aim to help prevent serious soil erosion during construction, thus minimizing the negative consequences from erosion on project safety and quality and preventing potential environmental damage.

The investigation will focus on the vegetation already destroyed by the construction, along with the subsequent soil erosion. The investigation team will also work to trace the evolution and patterns of soil erosion in the construction project and search for ways to prevent further erosion.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2002)

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