China to Build 20 Hydro Dams on Yangtze River

In order to harness more of its potential hydropower resources, China will build 20 hydro dams along its Yangtze River. From People’s Daily Online:

China will boost the use of the hydroelectric resources along the Yangtze River in the coming decades despite increasing oppositions, according to a strategic development plan of the river unveiled by the Ministry of Water Resources yesterday.

By 2020, about 50 percent of the hydropower resources of China’s longest river will be utilized.

The ratio is expected to reach 60 percent by 2030, Cai Qihua, director of the Yangtze Water Resources Committee, affiliated with the ministry, told the 3rd Yangtze Forum opened in Shanghai yesterday.

Not everyone is looking forward to the dam creation. From the Associated Press:

But environmentalists and scientists have questioned the effect of big dams on the environment, with some reporting problems.

A recent Chinese Academy of Sciences report said the Three Gorges Dam is harming water quality and ecosystems of the wetlands as well as fish stocks, the official China Daily newspaper reported Monday.

Climate change is also likely to reduce the river’s water supply because rainfall has decreased every year since 2006, it said.

April 21, 2009 10:12 PM
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Categories: Environment, Politics