Three Gorges

Lu Qinkan’s Three Gorges warnings were unheeded, dire consequences now toll

(June 16, 2011)  Lu Qinkan warned against construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Now his predictions have come to pass as the Yangtze river basin lurches from floods to drought.

Probe International

In 1989, Lu Qinkan’s opinion about the problems that would result from the accumulation of sediment in the Three Gorges reservoir first appeared in the original Chinese version of Yangtze! Yangtze! which you can read here. Or, you can read it in the subsequent English edition here.

A second essay on 10 controversial issues about the Three Gorges Dam was published in 1994 in the English edition of Yangtze! Yangtze! and can be read here.

For an interesting interview with Lu Qinkan in the English translation of Yangtze! Yangtze! on the limited ability of the Three Gorges Dam to control floods, read here.

In 2000, once construction of the dam was underway, Lu Qinkan and 52 other experts in the field wrote a protest letter to then-Premier Zhu Rongji, asking that the premier honour the National People’s Congress resolution to keep the reservoir at 156m for an initial period of 10 years. An energy shortfall had spurred a decision to fill the reservoir to 175m. Lu warned that raising the level would force an additional half million people from their homes and disrupt shipping along the Yangtze. Read the coverage of Lu Qinkan’s petition to keep the Three Gorges reservoir level at 156 m here.

Read Lu Qinkan’s third petition to keep the reservoir level at 156m here.

Read Guo Yushan’s (Transition Institute, Beijing) report on the cost of the Three Gorges Dam and Lu Qinkan’s attempts to minimize them.

On April 11, 2011, Lu Qinkan died at the age of 97. Read his obituary here.

Further Reading:

Read Yangtze! Yangtze! by Dai Qing here.

Read the original Chinese version of Yangtze! Yangtze! here.

Read more about Dai Qing here.

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