August 25, 2006
The water level in the Yangtze River’s middle and lower reaches continues to fall and is threatening navigation along the waterway.
Chengdu: The water level in the Yangtze River’s middle and lower reaches continues to fall and is threatening navigation along the waterway, local sources said on Friday. With drought conditions and high temperatures, the Yangtze River’s water level in Hankou City, central China’s Hubei Province, fell to 17.07 meters on Friday as opposed to a norm of 21 to 22 meters for this time of the year, said a source with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters. “The level is the second lowest since hydrologic records for this section of the river began in 1865,” said the source. The low water level has threatened navigation in many parts of the lower and middle reaches of the river — Taipingkou and Lujiahe in Hubei, for example, or Fujiangsha in east China’s Jiangsu Province, said Wei Zhigang, deputy director of the Yangtze River Waterway Bureau. Four dredging ships are working around-the-clock in shallow areas along the waterway to ensure normal navigation, he said. Navigation at Taipingkou of Shashi City in Hubei Province is banned temporarily from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. each day in order to carry out dredging work, said Wei. The worst drought since 1951 hit southwest China’s Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality this summer.