Archive for the Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 Category

Expert: Ecological problems not all due to Three Gorges Dam [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Environmental protection, Media smear campaign, Natural disaster, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on May 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 23, 2011

In response to some media claims that the Three Gorges Dam is behind the drought conditions that have plagued the population living along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Lu Yaoru, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the Three Gorges Dam is not entirely to blame.

Recently, severe lingering drought has hit the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and the problem has mainly been centered on the provinces of Hubei and Jiangxi.

More than 500,000 people in Hubei Province have limited access to drinking water while Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake, has shrunk to 1,326 square kilometers — the smallest it has been since satellite records were first kept. It is normally 4,000 square kilometers during the rainy season.

Unavoidably, such problems are being blamed on the Three Gorges Dam once again just like all the previous natural disasters, including mudslides, earthquakes and floods, that happened close to the region. There has been a rising chorus in China that blames the Three Gorges Dam for the drought.

However, scholars like Lu say all the blame cannot be placed on Three Gorges Dam.

Lu, who is a professor at Tongji University as well as the associate leader of geology and earthquake evaluation for the Three Gorges Project group, said it is impossible and not scientific to put all the blame for extreme environmental problems on the Three Gorges Dam project.

The Three Gorges Dam does separate the natural system of the Yangtze River into two parts. That would certainly change the original ecological balance and cause related changes both in geology and in the hydrological cycle, Lu said.

But such effects cannot match those influences brought by global climate change [sic], such as the floods that happened in Fujian and Hainan provinces last year. They could not have been caused by the Three Gorges Dam project…

…Therefore, Lu said, China needs to evaluate the Three Gorges Dam project comprehensively and cannot simply attribute all the severe problems that have arisen in the lower reaches of Yangtze River to the project. These problems also have something to do with pumping water from underground and building more high buildings.

He also added that the Yangtze River is a complete natural disaster chain, so landslides and mudslides caused by floods would also hit the region even if the Three Gorges Dam did not exist.

In addition, Lu also said the water storage of the dam will definitely increase pressure to the land surface, but such pressure can only trigger small earthquakes and is still not heavy enough to cause an earthquake like the massive Wenchuan Earthquake that hit China’s Sichuan Province in 2008.

By Wang Hanlu, People’s Daily Online

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article here: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7388647.html

Three Gorges Dam problems revealed [People’s Daily]

Posted in Alternative Energy, China, Economy, Energy, Environmental protection, Natural disaster, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on May 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 20, 2011

The central government has for the first time acknowledged downsides to the Three Gorges Project, but vowed to correct the mishaps and improve disaster prevention mechanisms, as a severe drought in central and southern China threatens millions of people.

In a statement issued after a meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, the State Council said the project had played a key role in flood prevention and power generation, but admitted it had caused severe problems to the environment, shipping, agricultural irrigation and water supplies in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, an area of 633,000 square kilometers shared by eight provinces.

It added that the government would properly handle all negative effects caused by the Three Gorges Project, the largest hydropower project in the world, and improve long-term mechanisms for geological disaster prevention, ecological preservation and the promotion of biological diversity.

Efforts should be made to increase oversight and control of water pollution to ensure drinking water safety, it added.

The statement also pledged to raise the standard of living for the 1.24 million relocated residents through economic restructuring and infrastructure improvements, as well as ensuring the social security system covers all urban and rural residents by 2020.

The statement came as a lingering drought has left residents and livestock without drinking water and dried up rivers across the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The problem has mainly been centered in Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces…

…According to media reports, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGPC), the dam’s managing body, has been ordered to increase flows to lower reaches to help curb the drought.

The corporation resorted to the same measure in early 2010, which resulted in drought for the river’s upper reaches, affecting people in Chongqing, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

“Extreme conditions have increased since the Three Gorges Dam started to store water, but more scientific research is needed to prove a link between them,” Fan Xiao, head of Regional Geological Survey Group of Sichuan Bureau of Geological Exploration of Mineral Resources, told the Global Times.

Concerns about the dam’s knock-on effects have existed since the project’s inception. In the past, authorities generally denied any such questions, casting an aura of perfection on the project.

“The government’s acknowledgement of these problems is a step forward as in the past, we only talked about the project’s merits,” Kong Qingdong, a Peking University professor and a news commentator, told online video news channel Thursday. “It is a reminder that we should gather more dissenting opinions before approving any large-scale projects.”

The State Council statement acknowledged that some of the problems were known even before construction began 17 years ago. Furthermore, new problems arose along with the project’s development because of increased economic and social demands.

The project was approved by the National People’s Congress in 1992 with 67 percent of votes in favor, far more than the 50 percent needed for approval…

…The Three Gorges Project, built with a budget equivalent to $22.5 billion, is a multi-functional water control system, consisting of a dam, a five-tier ship dock and 26 hydropower turbo-generators.

Zhang Han contributed to this story

Source: Global Times

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article here: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7386687.html

China’s Three Gorges Dam buffers worst flood in decades [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on July 21, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

 

…Historically, the Yangtze river floods caused huge losses for China in 1931, 1945 and 1998.  The floods in 1998 killed 4,150 people, and forced more than 18 million people out of their homes and caused economic losses of 255 billion yuan (about 38 billion U.S. dollars).

 
 
July 21, 2010
 
 

Flood waters are sluiced with the water outflux monitored at 40,000 cubic meters per second at Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province, July 20, 2010. China's Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River stood its biggest flood-control test at 8 a.m. Tuesday since completion, as the flow on the river's upper reaches topped 70,000 cubic meters a second. All ferry services were halted at the Three Gorges Dam on Monday, and would be resumed after the influx decreased to 45,000 cubic meters per second. (Xinhua/Xia Lin)

 

The Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River, the country’s largest, is offering a buffer for the worst flood in decades as it blocks more than 40 percent of upstream water.

The world’s largest hydropower station was holding up against its first major flood-control test Tuesday, said officials of the China Three Gorges Corporation.

The flow on the river’s upper reaches topped 70,000 cubic meters a second Tuesday — 20,000 cubic meters more than the flow during the 1998 floods that killed 4,150 people and the highest level since the dam was completed last year.

The flood peak at the Three Gorges Dam at 8 a.m. was slightly below the record high of 70,800 cubic meters per second in 1981, a spokesman with the corporation said.

Compared to 1998, the biggest difference is the Three Gorges Dam.  Without it, thousands of soldiers and rescuers would have been needed to fight the floods,” said Yuan Jie, director of the Three Gorges Cascade Dispatching Center of China Three Gorges Cooperation.

“There are three reasons why the dam is withstanding the enormous water pressure, which are the precise monitoring systems, the huge reservoir and the good decisions made by the corporation,” said Chen Fei, general manager of the Three Gorges Corporation.

The upper reaches of Yangtze River covers an area of one million square kilometers, 60 percent of which was covered by the Three Gorges monitoring system and another 20 percent was covered by systems of the Dadu and Yalong rivers.

“The peak flow is high, but it has not exceeded the designed capacity of 100,000 cubic meters of water per second,” said Cao Guangjing, the corporation’s chairman.

The peak flow was greater than in 1998 but the peak period was shorter so far, Cao said.

The discharged amount had been kept under 40,000 cubic meters per second, which means the dam blocked 43 percent of upstream water and prevented severe flooding in the lower reaches, Cao said.

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Water influx into Three Gorges Reservoir sets record – photo article [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on July 21, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手
 
 
 
July 20, 2010
 
 

Flood waters are sluiced at the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province, July 19, 2010. The water influx into the Three Gorges Reservoir reached 66500 cubic meters per second on Monday, setting a new record in this year's flood season. (Xinhua Photo)

 

Full photo article link here

China’s Three Gorges Dam withstands peak flood test [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝 on July 21, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

 

 
July 20, 2010
 
 

A man takes photo of the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province, July 20, 2010. China's Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River stood its biggest flood-control test at 8 a.m. Tuesday since completion, as the flow on the river's upper reaches tops 70,000 cubic meters a second. (Xinhua / Cheng Min)

 

The Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangtze River was holding up against its first major flood-control test Tuesday, said officials of the China Three Gorges Corporation.

The flow on the river’s upper reaches topped 70,000 cubic meters a second Tuesday — 20,000 cubic meters more than the flow during the 1998 floods that killed 4,150 people and the highest level since the dam was completed last year.

The flow peaked at 70,000 cubic meters per second at the Three Gorges Dam at 8 a.m., still below the record high of 70,800 cubic meters per second in 1981, a spokesman with the corporation said.

“The peak flow is high, but it has not exceeded the designed capacity of 100,000 cubic meters of water per second,” said Cao Guangjing, the corporation’s chairman.

“The dam can withstand the challenge easily,” Cao said.

All ferry services were halted at the Three Gorges Dam on Monday and the 30-km exclusive road along the river had been opened to vehicles carrying shipping cargoes, said an official of the Three Gorges Navigation Administration.

Services would be resumed after the influx decreased from 70,000 to 45,000 cubic meters per second, the official said.

Ferries near the Gezhouba Dam, on the lower reaches of the Three Gorges, were still operating as the flow there was 40,000 cubic meters a second, below its designed capacity of 60,000 cubic meters per second, the official said.

Source: Xinhua

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