CCTV, China’s state broadcaster, looks at the use of remote sensing to monitor the country’s vanishing “kidneys” — wetlands that provide a range of invaluable ecosystem services that have become seriously under threat from rapid urbanization and modernization.
(May 16, 2014) Lake Poyang, the largest freshwater lake in China, has in the past decade suffered record low water levels and its worst drought in 60 years. Although uneven rainfall patterns and industry on the lake are partly behind the decline in volume, the Three Gorges Dam has emerged as a major cause of the lake’s shocking dry-up. On a recent trip to China, Mu Lan, the editor of Probe International’s Chinese Three Gorges Probe news service, explored the link between Poyang’s crisis and the country’s hydro colossus.
(May 16, 2014) Mu Lan, the editor of our Chinese Three Gorges Probe news service, documents in pictures the decline of China’s largest freshwater lake on the southern bank of the Yangtze River in east China’s Jiangxi Province for his report, “Is the Three Gorges Dam to blame for extreme drought in the Lake Poyang area?”
(November 20, 2012) Poyang, China’s largest freshwater lake, is experiencing a dramatic drop in water levels as a result of drought exacerbated by the effects of ongoing climate change — a dry-up that began in earnest in 2003, according to a report published by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency earlier this year. What the report doesn’t acknowledge is that 2003 also coincides with the year reservoir filling began at the Three Gorges mega-dam 500-km upstream of Poyang, on the Yangtze River. Responding separately to Xinhua’s claims, noted Chinese geologist and environmentalist Fan Xiao points to operations at the dam, as well as rapid development of the Yangtze’s upper reaches, as the culprits behind the distressing changes Poyang and other Yangtze tributaries are experiencing: expect worse, he warns, but not because of climate change.
(November 28, 2011) China’s Academy of Social Sciences says the Three Gorges Dam is not to blame for this year’s devastating drought. That is wrong, says Probe International’s Patricia Adams, who explains why Three Gorges is making downstream water shortages a chronic problem.
(October 31, 2011) China’s Three Gorges reservoir reached full capacity at 5 pm on October 30, for the second time since its construction. As the water level rises, so do the risks.
(October 20, 2011) Recent reports show that China’s hydropower output fell over the past year, as drought struck the nation and major rivers declined in flow. The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze were so badly affected that the Three Gorges Dam was ordered to release more water. This article reveals that the drought cut into power companies’ profits, too.
(October 20, 2011) Two recent reports show that China’s hydropower output has fallen drastically over the past year, as decreased runoff from major rivers has led to falling reservoir levels in China’s major dams. The Bureau of Statistics stated that hydropower output was one-fifth lower than last September, while the National Development and Reform Commission measured a decrease of 24.5% – a loss of nearly a quarter.
To most observers, Chinese officialdom has supported the Three Gorges Dam without fail. But a closer look reveals growing worries about the dam which has become a symbol of all that is wrong with China’s rise. Here we present Chinese officials’ admissions of problems at Three Gorges, from the sensational mea culpas of senior officials to the subtly expressed worries of eminent scientists.
(June 8, 2011) In the wake of China’s official admission that the Three Gorges dam is beset by “urgent problems”, longtime criticism of the world’s biggest hydroelectric project has moved to the front pages. The Current, aired by the CBC, interviews outspoken opponents of the dam – including Probe International Fellow Dai Qing – to provide a snapshot of the issues surrounding the dam giant: a fast fading symbol of modern China’s rise.
(June 7, 2011) Despite heavy rain this week, much of central China remains dry. The country’s worst drought in 50 years has reignited debate about the controversial Three Gorges Dam.
(June 4, 2011) The Washington Post features Probe International Fellow Dai Qing and cites Probe International’s expose of a 30-fold increase in earthquakes caused by China’s Three Gorges Dam.
The latest controversy over the Three Gorges Dam puts the lie to the notion that the advantages of a one-party autocracy trump political gridlock.
(May 25, 2011) Amid China’s worst drought in decades, authorities acknowledge problems with a major river project.
(May 20, 2011) For years, officials focused on the dam’s achievements and tried to stifle domestic criticism of the project. As reality sets in, the government’s public analysis has become increasingly sober. But Probe International Fellow and longtime critic of the dam Dai Qing claims the government’s current efforts to ease the project’s risks are too late, if they’re sincerely meant at all: “The government built a dam but destroyed a river,” she says.