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VOA: He Qinglian on the Man-Made Factors Causing Severe Floods in China

On July 10, 2016, VOA published an article by He Qinglian, a well-known Chinese scholar in now lives in the U.S. The article discusses the man-made factors that have caused the floods in China, particularly in Hubei Province. He points out that there are two major reasons behind the flooding this year: 1) The Three Gorges Dam, 2) The Disappearance of Lakes. 

The Chinese regime claimed that the Three Gorges Dam should have at least 2 benefits: electric power generation and control of the amount of water that flows downstream when flooding. Since the Three Gorges project has been put into use, people feel the situation is exactly the opposite:
  • When the downstream area suffers drought, the dam needs to store water for electricity generation which results in making the drought more severe; 
  • When the downstream suffers flooding, the dam has to release extra water which accelerates the downstream flooding disaster.  
Hubei Province was known as “a State of a Thousand Lakes.” In the 1950s, 1309 lakes which were acres in size dotted here and there like many pearls across Hubei; it had beautiful water village scenery. In 2009, only 574 of the 1309 lakes were left in Hubei, an average of 15 lakes disappeared every year. After several more years have passed, there are now only a little over 300 lakes in Hubei. 
The rapid disappearance of lakes in Hubei is because of the Chinese Communist Party’s policies:
  • From the 1950s to the 1980s, the whole China responded to Mao Zedong’s call: “Fight the Sky and Earth” by destroying forests and filling up lakes and ponds for farm lands. 
  • From the 1980s to the present, the after-Mao CCP leadership has focused on speedy economic development at any cost. Many lakes have been filled up for real estate development. As buildings rise up, lakes and ponds disappear forever.  In Wuhan City (the capital city of Hubei), nearly 100 lakes have been filled up for real estate development.
The lakes and wetlands used to have the capacity to store extra flooded water. Now, the residential buildings above the filled lakes are troubled by waterlogging whenever it rains. As rain pours down more this year, those buildings are then bathed in “lakes.”
Source: Voice of America, July 10, 2016