Feb 22, 2008

Cleanup Efforts Fail to Improve Water Quality at Three Gorges

Unforeseen consequences hinder water quality improvements

The Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration has released a report saying that water quality at the Three Gorges reservoir, the lake created from the construction of the world's largest dam, hasn't improved despite a multi-billion-dollar cleanup effort, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report reveals the difficulties China's leaders continue to face in managing the Three Gorges Dam, which was supposed to be a flagship national project but instead has generated unforeseen consequences such as water pollution and landslides along the shores of the dam's gigantic reservoir.

Planners underestimated the country’s quick economic growth, the paper reported, and problems could worsen once the reservoir, which is now only partially filled to about 156 meters above sea level, reaches its maximum height of 175 meters as early as this year.