December 7, 2007
Three Gorges dam has increased water discharge to aid navigation in the Yangtze, where water levels are at their lowest in 50 years, according to the China Three Gorges Project Corporation, Xinhua reports.
Lower rainfall on the river’s upper reaches has reduced water levels in the middle reaches by up to 2 metres. The average water level has decreased by 1.5 m.
In the past month, at least 26 cargo ships have been stranded in the sections around Yichang, Wuhan and Jingzhou of Hubei Province, and Jiujiang, Hukou of the neighboring Jiangxi Province, according to the Yangtze River Maritime Administration. With the increased discharge, water levels in the Yichang section, near the start of the middle reaches, had gone up half a metre.
Every cargo ship must undergo weight checks at eight harbors in the city of Yichang and unload excess goods before continuing upstream. An average of 170 cargo ships use the route every day. More than 1,000 workers, 100 boats and 18 dredgers are digging out silt in the river to maintain the route, Xinhua reports.
Categories: Three Gorges Probe