Little water pollution has been detected at the Three Gorges Dam
area since the water level of the gigantic dam reached the
156-meter mark on Friday, the latest monitoring reports show.
The dam area has maintained a sound ecological environment and
water in the dam area is still potable, according to Hubei
provincial government office in charge of water-pollution control
in the Three Gorges Reservoir.
At 156 meters, the Three Gorges Project, which is believed to be
the world's largest hydropower project, is fully functional in
terms of flood-control, power generation and navigation. The
reservoir has stored more than 10.5 billion cubic meters of
The flooded area has increased as the water level rose more than
20 meters since September, but the water quality in the reservoir
remained good, said Xie Xiufa, a water conservancy specialist and
senior engineer with the Yangtze River Water Resources
Clean-up work was carried out before the reservoir began to
store water in June 2003.
By the end of June this year, workers had demolished buildings
with a total floor space of 9.2 million square meters in the area
to be submerged, and cleared 133,356 sources of pollution and 1.5
million tons of solid waste.
The government plans to spend nearly 40 billion yuan
(US$5billion) between 2001 and 2010 on at least 150 sewage
treatment plants and 170 urban garbage disposal centers to prevent
pollution in the Three Gorges Dam and the upper reaches of the
In Hubei alone, 12 waster water processing facilities and 11
garbage disposal plants had been built and 45 heavily-polluting
plants had been shut down over the past five years, according to
Meanwhile, a collection of floating garbage in the reservoir was
carried out in February this year.
Officials with the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project
Development Corporation, the project undertaker, claim garbage from
upstream will total 100,000 to 200,000 cubic meters annually.
The project involves the cities of Yichang in Hubei and
Chongqing Municipality in western China. Local environmental
watchdogs are enhancing supervision on the quality of reservoir
Beginning 1993, the Three Gorges Project, including a
185-meter-high dam and 26 generators, is built in three phases on
the middle reaches of the Yangtze.
The water level in the reservoir will eventually reach 175
meters in 2009, when the Three Gorges project is completed.
(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2006)