Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Effects in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, China
2011, 2 (4):
The Three Gorges Reservoir, the world's largest hydropower reservoir, receives a significant sediment yield from soil erosion. Sloping farmland is the main source, exacerbated by changes in land use from relocating the inhabitants, and from engineering projects related to dam construction. Related geo-hazards, including landsliding of valley-side slopes, will further increase the sediment yield to the completed reservoir. Integrated watershed management, begun extensively in 1989, has effectively controlled soil erosion and sediment delivery to date. What is described here as the Taipinxi Mode of integrated watershed management, based on its application in the 26.14 km2 watershed of that name in Yiling District, has been successful and is recommended for the entire region. The effects of this set of erosion-mitigation measures are assessed, using experienced formulas for soil and water conservation and information from remote sensing. The amount of soil erosion, and of sediment delivery to the reservoir were reduced by 43.75-45.94 × 106 t y-1, and by 12.25-12.86 × 106 t y-1, respectively, by 2005, by which time the project had been operative for 16 years.
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