Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Drought Hits Three Gorges Dam

23 March 2007

BEIJING - Prolonged drought along the Yangtze has reduced China's longest
river to record lows, triggering a debate over the Three Gorges dam's
ability to generate power, state media said yesterday.

The Yangtze fell to its lowest level last year since records began in
1877, but a dam official told the Xinhua news agency that power generation
in the Three Gorges area would not be affected.

"There have never been two successive years when a serious drop in the
amount of water flowing into the mainstream of the Yangtze has occurred,"
said the official. "So, I believe it is unlikely there will be a
significant drop in the inflow of water into the Three Gorges Reservoir
from the upper reaches this year."

But observers say such arguments are based on historical data and fail to
consider the more recent issue of climate change.

Over 2.6 million people upstream from the dam have been facing water
shortages since late February, according to the agency. - AFP