Three Gorges dam facing most severe floods since it was built, China


Authorities in China's Hubei province say the Three Gorges Dam is facing the most severe floods since it was built.

By August 20, the Three Gorges Dam in central China’s Hubei Province is expected to see the most severe round of floods since it was completed in 2003, Chinese authorities said.

According to a forecast by the Changjiang Water Resources Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources, the inbound flow of water is expected to reach more than 74 000 cubic meters per second after continuous heavy rain battered the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

The Three Gorges dam on August 13, 2020. Credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, Antonio Vecoli

The Yangtze River, China's longest waterway, recorded the fifth flood of the year in its upper reaches on Monday, August 17, Xinhua reports.

In addition, Chongqing municipality, which is located along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, upgraded its flood-control response to Level I on Tuesday, the highest rung in the four-tier emergency response system for floods.

The upcoming flood is expected to hit the city proper of Chongqing through Thursday, according to the municipal water resources authorities.

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China.

It's the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22 500 MW) since 2012. 

In 2018, the dam generated 101.6 terawatt-hours (TWh), breaking its previous record, but was still slightly lower than the Itaipú Dam, which had set the world record in 2016 after producing 103.1 TWh.

Featured image: The Three Gorges dam on August 13, 2020, as seen by Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2 Satellite. Credit: Antonio Vecoli


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  1. Hi – your article says the inbound flow is 74,000 m3 per second – be interested to know what the outflow from the dam is as well? If they have it fully open – what would the outflow be. TIA

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