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Advantages of Three Gorges Dam – Navigation

Three Gorges Dam

The Yangtze River always praised as "Golden Waterway". In history, it is the main artey of transportation which connected the South - East coastal areas and South-West hinterland, formed a relatively large inland river navigation system. Before building Three Gorges Dam, the waterway between Chongqing and Yichang was still in very complex natural state. In this range, water flow rapidly and shoals distributed everywhere. There only can pass by 1500 tons fleet.

According to statistics, there were 139 shoals in the 660 kilometers long waterway. Furthermore, there are 27 points along this way can't navigate or just can one-way navigate at night. Especially the down Chuanjiang River section, its annual one-way through capacity was just 10 million tons, which is less than the volume of freight traffic of one Jiangnan Canal, which greatly limited the navigation function of this "Golden Waterway". With the western development strategy carried out, the original navigation condition of Yangtze River can not meet the increased transportation requirement.

The Three Gorges Dam is located on the upside of Gezhouba Dam. It can cooperate with Gezhouba Dam to channelize the waterway, improve navigation condition. The navigation advantages of Three Gorges Dam are very obvious.

Advantages of Three Gorges Dam – Improve Navigation Condition

After Three Gorges Dam completed, it can back water to Chongqing, and form deep waterway. The average water depth is 70 meters, while the deepest part is 170 meters, and the average width of the reservoir is 1100 meters, which is 1 times of it was before Three Gorges Dam built. In one year, the waterway in Three Gorges Reservoir Area will be deep waterway for half a year, which guaranteed ten thousand tons fleet can directly reach Chongqing from Wuhan, and annual one-way through capacity will increase to 100 million tons from 10 million tons.

Advantages of Three Gorges Dam – Reduce Transportation Cost

The Three Gorges Dam can greatly reduce transportation cost; fully take advantages of waterway transportation. After Three Gorges Dam completed, the improvement of navigation condition will promote the ship type and fleet develop toward standardize and large-scale. The drag capacity of each horse power increased almost ten times, while the fuel consumption of ship transportation decreased 70 percents, comprehensive transportation cost decreased 35 percents to 37 percents.

Advantages of Three Gorges Dam – Beneficial for Port and Waterway Construction

In natural condition, the range of water level in flood season and dry season can reach 60 meters in the waterway between Chongqing and Yichang, which bring large problem to the port and waterway construction and navigation mark management. After water impounding in Three Gorges Reservoir, the annual water level range is in 30 meters. With the increase of water level and waterway width, the expense of manage shoals will be greatly reduced.

Advantages of Three Gorges Dam - Promote Shipping Industry Development of Tributaries in Upstream

The Three Gorges Dam Project can combines with the Xiaonanhai Project on the main stream of Yangtze River, Daxikow Project on Wujiang River, Jinkow Project on Jialing River, making the shipping industry on main stream and some tributaries of the Yangtze River get further development. It is introduced that the navigable mileage on Daning River, Xiangxi Stream and some other tributaries increased 550 kilometers after water impounding in Three Gorges Reservoir.

As we know, East China and Central China are economically developed, but the energy shortage has lasted for a long term. The electricity demand always relies on transporting the coal in the North to the South. The serious shortage of power resource becomes the important factor which restricted economic development