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Posts Tagged ‘Three Gorges Dam’

Overexploitation, Drought Destroying China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

Posted by feww on January 12, 2015

E. China’s Poyang Lake drying up!

Fed by the Gan, Xin, and Xiu rivers, the area of Poyang Lake fluctuates considerably between the wet and dry seasons; however, the average size of the lake has continued to shrink in recent years.

The lake area averages about 3,500 km² in a normal year, but it reached a low of under 200 km² in 2012, due to drought and the water intercepted for storage at the Three Gorges Dam.

Each year, up to a million migratory birds visit the vanishing lake, the largest freshwater lake in China.

During the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD) the lake area reached its greatest size of more than 6,000 km².

Poyang Lake is known as the “Bermuda Triangle of the East,” said a report.

Between early 1960s and late 1980s, more than 200 boats reportedly sank in the lake leaving a total of “1,600 people missing and 30 survivors who became mentally ill.”

“Among the boats missing in this area was one as large as 2,000 tons. It is documented that on Aug. 3, 1985, 13 boats had accidents in the Laoye Temple waters. The mystery is that those boats could not be recovered,” said the report.

east china lake
Original caption: A stone bridge relic of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is revealed on the bed of drought-affected Poyang Lake in east China’s Jiangxi Province, Dec. 30, 2014. Poyang Lake is renowned for its rich fishing resources, while in recent years, persistent drought and over-exploitation have endangered the lake’s resources. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun). More images…

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China’s Largest Freshwater Lake Reduced by 1/3 in 3 Days: Report

Posted by feww on October 22, 2014

SEVERE HUMAN IMPACT
EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC DISASTERS
DROUGHT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
MAIN SCENARIOS 900, 800, 699, 444, 200, 111, 101, 100, 090, 03, 02, 01
.

Poyang lake water level falling by 30 cm per day

“China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang, has shrunk by one third in the past three days due to reduced water supply from the Yangtze River and little rainfall,” reported the official Xinhua news agency.

The lake’s surface area was reduced from 2,169 km² on Monday to 1,490 km² Wednesday (October 22) , a reduction of 679 km², reported the Jiangxi Provincial Hydrological Bureau.

“The water level at Xingzi hydrological station was 11.99 meters at 4 p.m. Wednesday, 2.13 meters lower than the levels in normal years. The water level is falling by 30 cm per day.”

Limited water flow from the upper Yangtze River, due to the water being diverted to hydroelectric dams, and lack of rainfall in the province were two major causes for the loss, said the bureau.

Jiangxi Province has received an average precipitation of less than 5 mm since September 20, said the report.

“The sharp fall of water levels in the lake will affect shipping and fishing as well as the water supply for nearby residents.”

From 3500 km² to just 200 km²

The average area of the lake is about 3,500 in normal years. However, it shrank to about 200 due to drought and the practice of diverting water to the Three Gorges Dam in 2012.

“Every year, when the Three Gorges reservoir stores water – to power the dam’s turbines during the winter – the flow rate in the Yangtze drops. This in turn increases the rate at which the level of Poyang lake falls, and the period of low water comes sooner,” said Ye Xuchun, a researcher at China’s Southwest University.

“The incomes in fishing villages are dropping as fast as the water in the lake. Some residents will have move on to other trades,” said Xu Bin, the author of a thesis on the socio-economic consequences of the lake’s environmental disorders. He said: “The soil of China is dry, so the Yangtze is vital. Poyang is one of the key elements and its current predicament is a warning for the future.”

Habitat for 236 Species of Birds

Poyang Lake is a vital habitat for at least 236 species of birds including various endangered species, such as oriental white stork and white crane, and more than 100 species of wintering migrants, including Siberian cranes, according to a recent survey.

 

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Severe Drought Plagues Central China

Posted by feww on November 22, 2013

Central China is now in a state of  almost permanent drought

severe drought in china nov 2013
No end in sight for the severe drought that has plagued central China. Image credit: gmw.com via Xinhua. More images…

China’s largest freshwater lake rapidly shrinking

Meantime, surface area of Poyang Lake, in China’s Jiangxi Province,  has shrunk to less than 6 percent of its original size of more than 3,500km²

An early dry season this year, which began in mid-October, has reduced the lake into shallow streams, said a report.

poyang lake
China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, is drying up, causing a severe shortage of drinking water in the region, crippling the local fishing industry and threatening the lake’s ecology. Image credit: News.com via Xinhua. More images…

The lake has been subject to prolonged dry seasons since the 1990s due to persistent droughts, and reduced water supplies from the Yangtze River due to hydroelectric dams.

Other contributing factors include increasing water use and damage to the lake bed.

The crisis has caused a severe shortage of drinking water, crippling the local fishing industry and threatening the lake’s ecology,  said the report.

“Meteorological data showed the province has received 60 percent less precipitation since September than the average over the same period since records began in 1952.”

Additionally, a cluster of 29 dams erected on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river, which includes the Three Gorges Dam, store a total of up to 53 billion cubic meters of water, contributing to the death of Poyang, according to China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research.

Large numbers of migrating Siberian cranes used to spend the winter on Poyang Lake.

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Fish Ecosystem on Yangtze Collapsing

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

Yangtze River has lost 99.7% of its fish

Excessive human activity along the Yangtze River including the building of hydroelectric dams and overfishing has pushed the aquatic ecosystem to the verge of imminent collapse: Report

“The number of fish in four major species has shrunk from more than 30 billion in the 1950s to less than 100 million, and the number of breeds has been reduced from 143 to 17, according to the report released by the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Wide Fund for Nature,” said the report.

Landscape changes along  banks of the Chishui River
Original caption: Landscape changes since 2005 along the banks of the Chishui River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, suggest the grave effects of human activity on the ecosystem of China’s longest river. [PHOTO BY WANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY]

In addition to the dramatic decline  in the number of fish, several other species including the finless porpoise have already become extinct, said Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee.

“The source species are reducing, leading to unsustainable development of aquaculture and an increasingly fragile ecosystem.” Zhao said.

Some 25 hydropower plants are being built 100 km apart along the 2,308 km on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze,  with a total capacity four times the Three Gorges Dam, according to China’s energy development plan,

“It will cut the river into sections, and completely change the aquatic environment, bringing a devastating impact to species and water quality,” Zhao said.

The Yangtze River basin covers 19 provinces and cities, accounting for 18.8 percent of the land area in China, said the report.

Full report posted HERE.

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Wildfires Consume 120,000 Acres in Nebraska

Posted by feww on July 25, 2012

Red Flag Warnings, Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories are in effect from Kansas and Nebraska to Indiana

Another round of triple digit temperatures affect the central Plains, as National Weather Service warns  about the extreme conditions.

Temperatures are forecast to be 10-15 degrees above average in the central Plains and the Mid-Atlantic, as three wildfires consume at least 120,000 acres in Nebraska, destroying a dozen homes.

U.S. Daily Highest Max Temperature Records set on July 24, 2012


Source: National Climatic Data Center

  • Excess Heat Warnings are in effect for all or parts of 7 states Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.
  • Heat Advisories are in effect for 14 states:  South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Red Flag Warnings are in effect for parts of Montana, Nebraska and Kansas.

At least 24 high temperature records were broken and 34 tied in a dozen states Monday: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin, NCDC reported.

“The highest temperature readings of the day were reported at 109 degrees in Minneapolis, Kan., and Hebronville, Texas, tying previous records set in 2001 and 2009, respectively,” said NWS.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Greenland. Greenland’s massive ice sheet has thawed over an unusually large area, NASA has said.
    • The thawed area jumped from 40% of the ice sheet to 97% between   July 8 -11.
    • NASA scientists say they are ‘surprised‘ by the speed and scale of  this month’s thaw,  describing the phenomenon as ‘extraordinary.’
    • See also: Thought for the Day: A 2009 Forecast
  • Missouri. Gov. Nixon has declared a state of emergency due to the impact of continued severe heat and drought on agriculture and public health.
    • “Our farmers are suffering tremendous losses in crops and livestock, and we’re seeing more heat-related deaths and emergency room visits, particularly among seniors.” Nixon said. “In addition, we continue to see a high risk of fire from tinderbox conditions, and we are monitoring how the drought is affecting public water supplies and distribution.”
    • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has reported 25 heat-related deaths between May 1 and July 22, with about 830 heat-related emergency visits to hospitals, reports said.
  • Assam, India.  “The death toll from ethnic violence in northeast India rose to 38 Wednesday after four days of clashes. At least 170,000 villagers have fled from their homes in the remote state of Assam,” said a report.
  • China. “Tens of thousands of people have been summoned to stand guard  protecting dikes in Jingzhou city (Pop: ~ 6.45 million), which lies downstream of the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei province. Authorities declared more than 620 kms of river banks as risky along the Yangtze and its tributaries in the city.” Said a report.


Original Caption: Armed police patrol at the Three Gorges Dam, a gigantic hydropower project on the Yangtze River, in Yichang City, central China’s Hubei Province, July 24, 2012. Due to the downpours in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, China’s longest, the Three Gorges Dam experienced its largest flood peak this year on Tuesday, with a peak flow of 70,000 cubic meters of water per second. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

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World’s Water Dreams

Posted by feww on July 13, 2011

World Water Headlines – July 13, 2011

China forsaking farmers to feed ferocious energy demands

China says it is raising power production capacity to 1,440 gigawatts (GW) in four years, a rise of 490 GW.

The authorities are planning output at least 140GW of the added capacity from hydro power—equivalent of energy produced by seven Three Gorges dams, or the entire electricity production of France.

However, large-scale hydropower projects, as was the case with the construction of Three Gorges Dam, which impounded the Yangtzee River, will submerge vast areas of farming land under water forcing millions of people to relocate.

About 1.5 million people were relocated and at least 1,000 towns and villages were flooded to fill the reservoir area.

Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, Hubei Province central China, July 19, 2010.  The Dam Could Collapse


The water influx into the Three Gorges Reservoir reached 58,000 steres [cubic meters, m³] per second on Monday morning, setting a new record in this year’s flood season. Engineers will raise the rate of water outflux to 40,000 steres per second from 10 a.m. on Monday to face the biggest flood peak since the dam was established. (Xinhua/Zheng Jiayu). Image may be subject to copyright. More photos …

Water Shortages Caused by Hydropower Dams

Prolonged drought in the Mekong Basin threatened the livelihood of at least 60 million people last year. The water flows were the lowest for 20 years, said the Mekong River Commission (MRC). Adding that “water supply, navigation and irrigation are at threat.”

Many people in Southeast Asia blamed the unusually low water levels on Chinese dams.

NOTES:
1. Three Gorges dam has an installed capacity of 18.2GW
2. China’s hydropower capacity at the end 2010 was 213.4GW
3. Coal-powered plants will produce about 77 percent of the remaining 350GW of China’s planned capacity boost.

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China’s Drought Turning Critical

Posted by feww on May 30, 2011

Drought: Turning up the heat in E China

No rain for East China anytime soon: Forecasters

Drought is wreaking havoc across Central, South and East China. Many of the vast regions lakes, stricken by the worst drought in living memory, have dried up affecting tens of millions of people and millions of their livestock. There’s no prospect for early rain, forecasters say.

The drought that has affected 35 million people across 5 provinces in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, according to the country’s Meteorological officials.

“Among them, about 4.23 million are experiencing difficulties in finding drinking water and 5.06 million are in need of assistance,” said a report.

China Drought Monitor – Worsening Drought Conditions (January 10, 2011)


Source: Division of Climate Impact Assessment/NCC/CMA

“Since early January, precipitation in Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan provinces has been about 40 percent to 60 percent less than the same period last year, causing a 60-day drought, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.”

“China’s two largest fresh water lakes – Dongting Lake in Hunan and Poyang Lake in Jiangxi – are both drying up dramatically and, by Friday, 34.83 million people had been affected in the five provinces, the ministry said, citing reports from local civil affairs departments.” The report added.

The drought has affected about 4 million hectares (10 million acres) of crops, pushing up the vegetable prices by  “19 percent from May 23 to May 27,” according to the Baishazhou Market in Wuhan, capital of drought-hit Hubei in Central China.” The report added. 

Once A Lake!


Dried lake near Shijiao town of Qingyuan City, south China’s Guangdong Province.  (Xinhua/Li Zuomiao). Image may be subject to copyright.

The central government has ordered the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River to discharge more water to help irrigate some of the drought stricken croplands downstream; however, the  dam will run out of water if there is no rainfall before June 10, the Three Gorges Corporation has told China Daily.

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Three Gorges Dam Could Collapse

Posted by feww on July 22, 2010

HOW LONG WILL SHE HOLD?

Image of the Day:

Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, Hubei Province central China, July 19, 2010.


The water influx into the Three Gorges Reservoir reached 58,000 steres [cubic meters, m³] per second on Monday morning, setting a new record in this year’s flood season. Engineers will raise the rate of water outflux to 40,000 steres per second from 10 a.m. on Monday to face the biggest flood peak since the dam was established. (Xinhua/Zheng Jiayu). Image may be subject to copyright. More photos …

In Murphy’s law has no time vector! Fire-Earth said:

FEWW Amendment to Murphy’s Law:
If more things can go wrong they will go wrong about now!

… in the world’s major cities, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, oil rigs, production and processing facilities, powerlines …

A name for this?
Blog Moderators call this phenomenon Secondary Interlude to Human-Induced Planetary Antiphase.

Previous Examples in recent times?
Repeated flooding in Manila, Philippines.

Examples to watch for in the Near future?
Watch out for disintegration or collapse of Cities, large-scale structures, bridges, tunnels, power plants…, e.g., collapse of China’s Three Gorges Dam in the next two to three years.

Other Examples?
More examples would be posted after the Moderators have evaluated the structures, geographical regions  and physical locations.

Causes?
Earthquakes, Storms, Snowstorms, Extreme Rain Events (ERE), Drought and Deluge, Fatigue … Antiphase and all other human-induced and human-enhanced factors.

See also entry at

Major Blackout Plunges Brazil into Darkness

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Posted in Blackout, China landslide, China Storm, China weather, Human-Induced Planetary Antiphase | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Murphy’s law has no time vector!

Posted by feww on November 13, 2009

Nature Defaults on Hydroelectric Supply

Localize or face the consequences:
Brazil
Power failure plunges its largest cities into darkness

The US, EU countries, China, Japan and other energy dinosaurs WILL experience similar disruptions…

Another Warning Shot Fired by Nature:
Your systems are too inflexible

turbines at itaipu binacional - 2
Banking on the good side of nature. Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam.
The world’s largest hydroelectric facility.  Credit: Itaipu Binacional.

Remember the first time you heard the so-called Murphy’s Law?

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Murphy’s law has no time vector! It doesn’t tell you when things WILL go wrong, and  it’s often quoted after things have already gone wrong. It does not incorporate the ‘observer effect.’ Nature is more organized than “Murphy” would have lead you to believe. Now hear this.

FEWW Amendment to Murphy’s Law:
If more things can go wrong they will go wrong about now!

… in the world’s major cities, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, oil rigs, production and processing facilities, powerlines …

A name for this?
Blog Moderators call this phenomenon Secondary Interlude to Human-Induced Planetary Antiphase.

Previous Examples in recent times?
Repeated flooding in Manila, Philippines.

Examples to watch for in the Near future?
Watch out for disintegration or collapse of Cities, large-scale structures, bridges, tunnels, power plants… , e.g., collapse of China’s Three Gorges Dam in the next two to three years.

Other Examples?
More examples would be posted after the Moderators have evaluated the structures, geographical regions  and physical locations.

Causes?
Earthquakes, Storms, Snowstorms, Extreme Rain Events (ERE), Drought and Deluge, Fatigue … Antiphase and all other human-induced and human-enhanced factors.

See also entry at

Major Blackout Plunges Brazil into Darkness

Related Links:

Posted in earthquake, energy dinosaurs, exponential growth economy, Failing Ecosystems, first wave of collapsing cities, political economy, vulnerability to power loss, world economy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »