The rising water in the Three Gorges reservoir will make it
harder for workers to clean up floating garbage in the dam, said an
official with the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project
Development Corporation on Thursday.
The severe drought in the past several months in the upper
reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest, had reduced its
capacity to clean itself and left a lot of garbage on the banks,
Cao Guangjing, vice manager of the corporation, told Xinhua.
The garbage will end up floating in the huge reservoir with the
water level rising to 156 meters to increase the hydro-electric
potential of the dam, he said.
The water in the reservoir began to rise at 10:00 p.m. on
The reservoir will see a sharp increase of floating garbage in a
short time as the water in the reservoir is being raised 21 meters
from 135 to 156 meters, Cao said.
"The increase is going to make clean up work much more
difficult," Cao said.
Cao said the amount of floating garbage in the reservoir is
expected to surpass 200,000 cubic meters.
The company has decided to use a specialized boat to clean up
floating garbage, but the vessel is yet to put into operation due
to a lack of spare parts, he said.
The capacity of the boat is 300 cubic meters, the world's
largest of its kind, Cao added.
When the water level reaches 156 meters, the Three Gorges Project
will increase power production by 7.85 billion kw/hours annually,
while water storage will rise by 11 billion cubic meters, improving
shipping conditions upstream. The reservoir currently holds 14
billion cubic meters of water.
The water level will rise from the current 135 meters to 148
meters by Oct. 1 and then to 156 meters by mid-October after a
break of two days so engineers can monitor the effects on the dam,
which was completed in May.
With the water-rising progress, local governments in the dam
area began a clean-up campaign with a budget of 4.6 million yuan
Six hundred workers, with 208 boats and 58 motor vehicles in
Chongqing municipality, have been mobilized to clear the affected
areas and the Yangtze's 20 dried-up lesser tributaries of tree
branches, solid waste and farm debris, said Tang Jiali, deputy
director of Chongqing Municipal Environmental Hygiene Bureau.
"If this rubbish is not cleared, it will be washed down into the
reservoir, polluting the environment and endangering shipping,"
With a budget of 203.9 billion yuan (US$25.5 billion), the Three
Gorges Project will have a reservoir with a capacity of 39.3
billion cubic meters and produce 84.7 billion kw/h of electricity
annually, when it is completed in 2009.
By April, 126 billion yuan (US$15.75 billion) had been spent on
construction of the Three Gorges project. A total of 130 billion
kwh of electricity has been generated since July 2003, earning 25
billion yuan (US$3.125 billion) in revenue.
(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2006)