The construction of the Three Gorges
water-control project will not greatly affect the
hydrological conditions on the lower reaches of the Yangtze
River, according to a long-term investigation by experts.
The total storage capacity of the Three Gorges
reservoir will reach 39.3 billion cu m, according to design.
The reservoir will have a total length of 600 km and an
average width of 1.1 km.
After the Three
Gorges Dam blocks the river, it will have a water surface of
1,084 sq km. The total water volume flowing into the sea
will remain the same upon completion of the dam. It will
only vary in the discharge of the water flow in different
seasons of the year.
During the dry season, in
the January-May period, the discharge of water will increase
slightly by probably 1,000 cu m to 2,000 cu m per second.
While in other months the flow volume will remain basically
the same, within normal changes.
The mouth of
the Yangtze River and the offshore areas are important
fishing grounds. About 20 percent to 30 percent of the
nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus in the river mouth
area comes from the section of the river beyond the site of
the Three Gorges Dam.
After the dam cuts the
river it will block only about 10 percent of the nutrients
in the water flow. Thus, the nutrition content in the river
mouth and offshore areas will remain at a high level.