Three Gorges Probe

Three Gorges to maintain original splendour

(January 13, 2006) The water level in the reservoir after the dam is completed in 2009 will affect local scenic sights to some extent, but is expected to add to the beauty of the Three Gorges, the official Chinese news agency says.

The spectacular natural scenery along both sides of China’s longest river, the Yangtze, at the Three Gorges will remain unchanged after the massive Three Gorges Dam Project is completed in 2009, experts say. Construction of the mammoth project began in 1993 and is expected to be completed in three phases. The first phase was carried out from 1993 to 1997 when the mainstream of the Yangtze was dammed at the Three Gorges. The second phase is scheduled to be completed between 1998 and 2003 when the Three Gorges Reservoir begins storing water and the first group of power units become operational. The third phase will be built from 2004 to 2009 when all the power units begin generating electricity. Experts said that the water levels in the reservoir after the first and second phase would have little impact on scenic spots along both sides of the Three Gorges. The water level in the reservoir after the third phase would affect the original scenic sights to some extent, but is expected to add to the beauty of the Three Gorges. The mainstream of the Yangtze at the Three Gorges will be blocked for the second time in November this year. Many people worry that the rising water level might result in the disappearance of original scenic sights. When the scheduled damming comes to an end next June, the water level in the Three Gorges Reservoir is expected to rise to 135 meters from the current 66 meters, and the submerged rocks and dangerous shoals would be greatly reduced in this section. The water level in the Three Gorges Reservoir will finally reach 175 meters in 20 to 30 years after the project is completed in 2009, according to experts. Li Yusheng, a senior engineer with the Chongqing Nanjiang Hydrology and Geology Team, has been engaged in hydrological and geological studies at the Three Gorges area for many years.

Xinhua news agency, January 13, 2006

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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