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Three Gorges insignificant in 2003's flood-control scheme
( 2002-11-05 14:44 ) (7 )

The Three Gorges Reservoir on China's Yangtze River will be able to play only a minor role in flood-control in 2003, when the project is only partially completed, said a senior official for the three Gorges project.

The reservoir will have a water level of 135 meters and storage capacity of 2.3 billion cubic meters by June 15, 2003, but this is insignificant in the face of big floods, said Lu Youmei, general manager of the China Yangtze Three Gorges Project Development Co.

"It will become an important flood-control mechanism when the entire Three Gorges Project is completed in 2009. By that time, the reservoir will have a gross storage capacity of 39 billion cubic meters, including 22 billion cubic meters designated for flood-control purposes," said Lu.

When large-scale flooding occurs, the reservoir will help to reduce flood water levels and ensure the safety of the embankments, said Lu.

He said China needs to strengthen water and soil conservation in the river's upper reaches and consolidate the embankment system in order to gain firmer control of the river.



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