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November 13, 2009

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Drought forces new reservoir target

THERE is little chance that China will raise the water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir to the final target of 175 meters this year as drought lingers in the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River and the dry season approaches, local water conservation experts said yesterday.

The reservoir is a major part of the mammoth Three Gorges Project at the middle reach of the Yangtze River.

Reaching the 175-meter mark is seen as a symbol for the thorough completion of the project, which began in 1993 with the aim of taming the unruly river and fueling China's economic development.

In mid September, China planned to raise the water level to 175 meters in late October or early November.

However, to help relieve the downstream drought, Yangtze River Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters ordered the reservoir to sluice the same volume of water as that of water flowing into it from the upper reach of the river over the past few weeks.

From October 19 to Tuesday, water outflow from the reservoir was 4 billion cubic meters more than the previous plan, according to the headquarters.

By 4pm on Wednesday, the reservoir's water level stood at around 170.65 meters.


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