(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.
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.
(September 15, 2011) In this installment of Weibo Watch: hundreds of rivers and dams dry up, Poyang Lake continues to shrink, Beijing Zoo’s new amusement park draws an angry response, and complaints about mining in Tibetan culture’s holy mountains fall on deaf ears.
(June 22, 2011) The ongoing drought in Southern China is pitting massive hydropower plans against flood management authorities – and creating a standoff with millions of livelihoods at stake.
(June 15, 2011) Low water levels in Poyang Lake, due to the Three Gorges reservoir withholding vital water supplies, encourage the Jiangxi government to consider building yet another dam to mitigate water shortages.
(June 12, 2011) A consensus is building that the Three Gorges dam, which the Shanghai Daily calls “that” monstrous damming project,” dried downstream lakes. Predictions to this end made by renowned hydraulic engineer Huang Wanli, nearly 20 years ago, prove to be eerily accurate.
(June 11, 2011) Peter Lee takes a poignant and pithy look at the sordid history of the Three Gorges dam. From its questionable inception to the recent drought, Lee examines the government’s methodologies in dealing with critics and problems which come under fire as the Three Gorges faces its toughest challenges to date.
(June 3, 2011) The Three Gorges Dam project failed to consider the full impact it would have on the ecological environment during its early design, an official admitted yesterday.