Three Gorges Dam may not be able to quench the thirst of drought-hit areas in East and Central China after June 10, Xinhua said on Thursday.
The dam's water level has dropped two meters from 154 meters since it began releasing water to relieve the ongoing drought in East and Central China, which amounts to about 1.2 billion cubic meters of water, according to Zhao Yunfa, an engineer working at the dam project.
The dam is supposed to store water to a depth of 175 meters when a summer flood is over, and discharge 30 meters of this stored water before the next summer flood, in order to control floods and relieve droughts, said Wang Hai, one of the dam project's management officials.
However, the dam's water level is already about 23 meters below 175 meters. Sources said that if it doesn't rain in the drought-hit areas before the upper reaches of the Yangtze River can get more water, Three Gorges Dam won't be able to release any more water after June 10, when the level of stored water will drop below the 30-meter mark.