Home / Environment / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Yangtze hydro projects to get a boost despite increasing oppositions
Adjust font size:

Children release fish into the Yangtze River in Chongqing on Sunday during a campaign to protect the longest Chinese waterway's ecology.
Children release fish into the Yangtze River in Chongqing on Sunday during a campaign to protect the longest Chinese waterway's ecology. [China Daily]

China will boost the use of the hydroelectric resources along the Yangtze River in the coming decades despite increasing oppositions, according to a strategic development plan of the river unveiled by the Ministry of Water Resources yesterday.

By 2020, about 50 percent of the hydropower resources of China's longest river will be utilized.

The ratio is expected to reach 60 percent by 2030, Cai Qihua, director of the Yangtze Water Resources Committee, affiliated with the ministry, told the 3rd Yangtze Forum opened in Shanghai yesterday.

"Only 36 percent of Yangtze's hydropower resources was exploited until now. The level is much lower than that of other rivers in China and abroad," Cai said.

Hydro projects will be developed on the tributaries in upper reaches of the Yangtze, including Yalong, Dadu, and Wujiang rivers, which are abundant with the hydroelectric resources, the plan says.

The use of the river water will be well managed, Cai said.

By 2020, no more than 25 percent of the Yangtze River's water resources should be utilized for agricultural irrigation and industrial purposes.

The rate will be brought under 30 percent by 2030, according to the plan, the current rate being 17.8 percent.

However, construction of water conservation projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam, the south-to-north water diversion project, and the cascade hydropower plants, are also posing threats to the ecology of the Yangtze River.

A recent study by Chinese Academy of Sciences recorded the worsening water quality at reservoir areas of the Three Gorges Dam, as well as loss of fishing resources.

"Rivers are among the most threatened ecosystems on the planet," said James Leape, director general of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International, citing an example of the ill-planned damming in the Mississippi River.

"China still has time to think through the consequences to ensure that rivers like the Yangtze are healthy enough," Leape said.

The exploitation of hydropower resources should be based on comprehensive research of the Yangtze River's whole basin, instead of focusing on individual projects, Li Lifeng, director of freshwater project at WWF International, told China Daily.

Hu Siyi, vice-minister of water resources, has also urged that hydro projects and water dispatching system along the Yangtze River be operated together.

China boasts the world's greatest hydropower resources with a theoretical potential of 540 million kilowatts.

National Energy Administration has set the target to increase the installed hydropower capacity at 300 million kilowatts by 2020. The capacity reached 172 million kilowatts at the end of last year.

1   2    

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

China Archives
Related >>
- Climate risk for Yangtze river: report
- Three Gorges reservoir sees 166 geo-disasters since last Sep.
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- The Eco Design Fair 2009
- Environmental English Training (EET) class
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
Sichuan Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Sichuan Province at 2:28 PM on May 12.

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