Three Gorges Dam is an ecological project: first general manager
Published: Apr 20, 2021 09:13 PM
Lu Youmei

Lu Youmei

Faced with the West's persistent clamor, Lu Youmei, the first general manager of China's Three Gorges engineering and construction corporation (the predecessor of the China Three Gorges Corporation), told the Global Times that outside exaggerated the negative impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the ecological environment, and that the dam has handled ecological issues better than expected.

Lu presided over the construction of the Three Gorges project from 1993 to 2003, and witnessed the first decade of the Three Gorges Dam from the start of construction to water storage. He said that the project has overcome several world-class challenges, demonstrating solid flood control and ecological benefits.

"Running as an effective measure to remedy the Yangtze River's already imbalanced ecology in its natural development, the Three Gorges project is a great and important ecological project that made it possible to solve the intractable problems of environmental degradation and post-disaster epidemics caused by past floods," Lu noted.

Lu pointed out that flooding can be defined as a process in which water and people compete for land area. The construction of reservoirs is a measure to change poor and barren land for fertile land. 

"The Three Gorges Reservoir flooded 63,200 hectares of reservoir canyon slopes in exchange for the safety of 1.5 million hectares of fertile land in the Jianghan Plains."

In response to questions about the "devastating impact" of reservoir construction on fish stocks, Lu said the project has indeed changed the status of some fish species. 

"Some of the fish species which are yet to adapt might suffer slight population decreases, but some may also be given better living conditions." 

Lu pointed out that in the construction and operation of the Three Gorges Dam, nature and engineering, development and conservation, were not antithetical concepts. Huge efforts have poured into protecting fish and rare plants in the reservoir area.

"We are soberly aware of the limitations of human understanding at any given 'point in time.' Although the Three Gorges project has been put into operation, the human understanding and practice of it are far from over," Lu added.