September 09th, 2011 | Xinhua Three Gorges reservoir begins storing water to run at full capacity
The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest water control and hydropower project which spans China’s Yangtze River, is scheduled to operate at full-capacity by the end of October, the project’s operator said Friday.
The China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) said Friday that the dam will begin storing water on Saturday, and the water level will reach its designed full capacity of 175 meters by the end of October.
It will be the second time for the reservoir to run at full capacity.
The Three Gorges Project was launched in 1993 with a budget equivalent to 22.5 billion U.S. dollars. It began the first full-capacity test in October last year.
The high-level water storage allows experts to observe, research and validate the dam’s original design, and to test its hydropower turbo-generators.
The Three Gorges project is a multi-functional water control system, consisting of a dam, a five-tier ship lock, and 26 hydropower turbo-generators. Six more generators will be installed by 2012.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters requires the company to closely monitor flooding in the river’s upper reaches and dam operation during full-capacity runs.
The 185-meter-deep reservoir, built on the upper middle-reaches of the Yangtze, can raise ship-passing efficiency on the river when running at high water levels.
It usually discharges water in May, alleviating spring droughts in areas downstream of the Yangtze River, and makes room to contain water from the river’s seasonal flooding in summer.