Three Gorges Probe

Silt problem worsens along middle Yangtze


November 20, 2007

Yangtze River authorities started dredging China’s longest river a week earlier than last year as silting in the river becomes more serious, Xinhua reported on Nov 20.


In order to prevent ships from being grounded, Guniusha waterway in Qizhou has been added to the previous dredging sites of Taipingkou, in Shashi City, and Yaojian, in Jianli, according to Wang Xiandeng, chief of the Wuhan Branch of the Yangtze River Bureau, which is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Communications. Wang is quoted saying, “Silting is getting more serious in the middle reaches of the Yangtze so we started to organize silt dredging last Wednesday, which is much earlier than in previous years.”

Navigation in the areas being dredged has been banned from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day and the maritime authorities have sent two extra vessels to divert other ships while the operation continues, Xinhua reported. Wang blamed this year’s drought, the worst in 50 years, for the serious silting, saying the water level of the river at Taipingkou had fallen to about one meter lower than last year. Xinhua also cites unnamed experts who believe the Three Gorges Dam project has contributed to the low water level.

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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