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Backgrounder: The Three Gorges Project

07-22-2010 14:41 BJT Special Report:Rainstorm Batters Large Parts of China |

The Three Gorges Project is the world's largest water conservation and hydro-power project. It is on the Xiling Forge section of the well-known Three Gorges on the Yangtze River. The dam is at Sandouping, Yichuang City, Hubei Province, which is the dividing line between the mid-stream and up-steam of the trunk stream of the Yangtze River. It controls a drainage area of 1 million km², and the average annual runoff volume reaches 451,000 million m³.

Aerial view of Three Gorges Dam

Residential resettlement

The Three Gorges reservoir triggers the resettlement of residents involving 20 counties (cities, prefectures) in Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality. Taking into account population growth and second relocation within the construction period, more than 1.2 million people will be resettled. Adhering to the "development resettlement" guidance, the resettlement is implemented with close parallel local resources development, economic development and environment protection in a planned and stage-by-stage way. Apart form those who are resettled locally under an overall arrangement, some migrants are resettled outside their original province or Municipality.

Construction phases of the Dam

This picture shows different construction phases of the Dam.(
This picture shows different construction phases of the Dam.(

The Three Gorges Water Conservation and Hydro-power Project, consisting of the dam and the water release structure, the power plant buildings and the navigation structure, is constructed in accordance with the "one-stage development, completion in one lump, stage-by-stage impoundment, continuous resettlement" implementation plan. With a normal impounded level of 175 meters, the total storage capacity of the reservoir is 39,300 million m³, and 22,150 m³ of it is the flood control capacity.

The Three Gorges Water Conservation and Hydro-power project is being constructed in three stages as it is planned. Form the beginning of the preparatory work in 1993 to its completion in 2009, the total construction period lasts 17 years.

Components and sections of the Project

Cross section of ship lift system.
Cross section of ship lift system.

Diagram showing components of the completed project.
Diagram showing components of the completed project.

Relative map of the project and detailed diagram of the dam.
Relative map of the project and detailed diagram of the dam.

Environmental bonus& flood control

The Three Gorges Project is developed aiming at mainly flood-prevention, power generation and water transportation benefits. It will also improve the ecological environment.

The flood-prevention benefit brought about by the Three Gorges Project may save environment deterioration and outbreak of diseases due to flooding or flood diversion, ridding the needs of such as disaster relief and victims resettlement. Compared with a fossil fuel power plant of similar capacity, the Three Gorges Hydro-power Plant can save the emission of carbon dioxide by 100 million tons, sulfur dioxide by 2 million tons, carbon monoxide by 10,000 tons and oxynitride by 370,000 tons and large quantities of waster liquid and residue, and, therefore, helpful to the improvement of the local environment. After the Three Gorges reservoir is completed, the local climate will be improved, which is helpful to the agriculture development; it can also improve the water quality at the lover-and mid-stream of the Yangtze River in low-water seasons by reducing the intrusion of sea tide from the estuary of the Yangtze River.

Three Gorges Project Corporation

China Three Gorges Project Corporation was established on Sept. 27, 1993. China Three Gorges Project Corporation, a wholly state-owned enterprise, is a large-scale clean energy group with hydro-power development and operation as its priority, mainly engaging in water conservation and hydro-power project construction and management, power generation and special technology services

Editor:Jin Lin |Source:

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