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Three Gorges Works to Aid Flood Control

The Three Gorges Dam Project discharged water on Tuesday to lower the water level in the reservoir after excessive rainfall upstream.

The water level rose to 144.9 meters following rains upstream of the dam. Two spillways were opened on Tuesday afternoon to maintain the water level at 144 meters, said Zhao Yunfa, a director of the communication center of China's largest hydropower project.

It was the first time this year that the reservoir performed its flood-control function.

The dam, 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high, was completed in May last year and the water level in the reservoir was raised to 156 meters from 135 meters in October. The dam had been designed to help minimize damage caused by floods that might occur only once every 1,000 years.

The US$22.5 billion project was launched in 1993. Its 26 turbo-generators are designed to produce 85 billion kwh of electricity a year after their installation is completed in 2008.

So far, 15 turbines have been put into operation and the project has produced 165 billion kwh of electricity since 2003.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2007)

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