Excessive Rainfall in China: Three Gorges Dam and Other Yangtze River Dams Spill Water

Three Gorges Dam June 2020

June 30, 2020

Since the start of Asia’s summer monsoon season on June 1, 2020, excessive rainfall has pushed lakes and rivers to record high levels in China. Flooding within the Yangtze River Basin, in particular, has displaced millions of people.

The Yangtze River is Asia’s longest, winding 6300 kilometers (3,900 miles) through China. Together with its network of tributaries and lakes, the river system has undergone significant development as a means to generate power, store water for drinking and irrigation, and control flooding. Today the watershed is dotted with tens of thousands of reservoirs, and its rivers are spanned by numerous dams.

Gezhouba Dam June 2020

June 30, 2020

During the 2020 summer monsoon, floodwater was being held, or “absorbed,” by 2,297 reservoirs in the region, including the one behind Three Gorges Dam. In an attempt to regulate the flow of floodwater, dam operators can discharge water through spillway gates.

Those gates were open when these images were acquired on June 30, 2020, with the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The images are composites of natural color and shortwave infrared to better distinguish the water. Note how the torrent flowing through the spillways changes how the water downstream reflects light, making it appear whiter.

The image at the top of this page shows water moving through the gates of Three Gorges Dam. Spanning a segment of the Yangtze River in central China’s Hubei Province, the dam is 2300 meters long and stands 185 meters high. The second image shows the smaller Gezhouba Dam, located about 26 kilometers (16 miles) southeast from Three Gorges. This dam also appeared to have its spillway gates open.

Yangtze River June 2020

June 30, 2020

When these images were acquired in June, the waterways were trying to handle the first major flooding of the monsoon season. A second wave of severe flooding, referred to by local media as the “No. 2 flood,” hit the region in July. Between and during these flood events, continuous adjustments are made to the amount of reservoir outflow flowing through the gates.

According to the Three Gorges Corporation, the water level in the reservoir reached a record high flood season level of 164.18 meters on July 19. The previous high level reached during the flood season since the dam became fully operational in 2012 was 163.11 meters. The reservoir is designed to hold a maximum water level of 175 meters.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

45 Comments on "Excessive Rainfall in China: Three Gorges Dam and Other Yangtze River Dams Spill Water"

  1. I think the collapse of the three gorges dam would be a good start on making china pay for the WuFlu

    • This comment section has been taken over by trolls whose only objective is to slander and attack the Chinese. This intentional propaganda effort is in place to protect the insane President of the US from justice. This racist campaign is a reflection of his attacks on non-European Americans. Don’t be distracted from Trump’s crimes and his hysterical attempts to distract the public. Trump is the greatest threat to world peace that has ever existed.

      Trump denied the virus and claimed it would just go away. He failed to protect the American people and now he wants to stoke up the racism to cover his trail. Don’t fall for with selfish lies. Listen to the dozens of women who he has assaulted. Pay attention to his partnership with Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile, and his good friend Ghislaine Maxwell whom he has met “on numerous occasions”

    • Anon E. Mouse | July 27, 2020 at 5:00 am | Reply

      MSM: If the dam fails it is obviously Trump’s fault….

  2. But “China” wouldn’t pay, the people would.
    How is that fair?

    • It’s plenty fair, who has let the ccp become what it is? The Chinese people. Maybe if a few million MORE of them are murdered by their leadership, they’ll finally decide to do something about it?

  3. Keitth Parquette | July 25, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Reply

    Would be what China deserves if it failed for giving the world the king flu

  4. George Jensen | July 25, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Reply

    When a comment does not even spell the key point correctly that tends to be a reflection of foolishness. While the West engages in name calling China is developing technological and economic advantages. We need intelligent actions to keep balance with China and avoid doomsday. If the dam fails it will set China back but the failure will be due to the dam having been constructed years ago when the engineering was not top level.

    • Top level engineering practice was available. They were advised to use it. They just chose not to.
      Re: Poor welding of reinforcement, not anchoring the dam to the bed rock, and allowing contractors pouring concrete to sign off their own work, with no independent oversight.
      And that is not even ‘top level’. In most countries it would be considered an absolute minimum, even when the dam was built.
      Originally good for 1000 years, now only good for 100. A disaster waiting to happen….in a lifetime?

  5. Or they planned it. Wipe out the proof in Wuhan and control their population. It would only be an advantage. Less mouths to feed. In their eyes.

  6. If the dam breaks CCP will be stronger as China will need a strong government. In fact CCP is inviting attack on China to unite the population behind CCP. THE BEST PUNISHMENT TO CCP IS ECONOMIC BOYCOTT THAT WILL CREATE AN INTERNAL UPRISING against CCP as being done by India.

    • Common sense | July 26, 2020 at 11:18 am | Reply

      Here’s someone who gets it

    • Larry! Y U suck #CCP you know what? Dumbass like you entertained China to rape 🇺🇸 and the west for too long for what, cheap crap poisonous food?? Liberals like you are bunch of pathetic humans, never to be trusted with power.

  7. Wow Fred, you sound like a really compassionate guy. And what if another wet market spawns a pandemic nuke em till they glow?

    • Droppin bombs | July 26, 2020 at 11:23 am | Reply

      Uh-oh, someone just showed their complete ignorance. Wet market only sells red herring, how gullible are you? Or did you just earn fifty cents? The disease came from the virology lab, as everyone with half a brain has been well aware of for over half a year

    • Make it Glow | July 26, 2020 at 11:24 am | Reply

      Why wait for the next pandemic?

  8. Well “Fred” By your the same logic , the US should be held responsible for the “Spanish flu” as it started in Kansas and was spread around the world by US troops front a Kansas military base, and that killed millions of people! Not to mention several other pandemics that originated in the US.

    Having said that, since the covid  virus
    Has been found in Spanish and Italian
    sewer  samples dated back to march 2019, we’ll before  the Wuhan outbreak, which would make Whuan just a super spreader event not the original source. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spain-science-idUSKBN23X2HQ.
    Crawl back in your hole……

    • Xi's a bitch | July 26, 2020 at 11:33 am | Reply

      One sample? You are acting like this because you read an article where one sample tested positive? Even in the article, they were saying that one sample means nothing, it hasn’t even been peer reviewer. Could be sample contamination; the fact that it wasn’t found in any other samples points to this exact conclusion. Go crawl back in your hole and keep making a fool of yourself, 50¢ at a time.

    • Well “Terry” the US didn’t create the “Spanish flu” in a lab. If you really followed the COVID-19 story, you would know that it clearly was created in a lab. As for tests showing that it was in sewage from march 2019, you clearly don’t understand how the tests work. Depending on the test settings, everyone would test positive for COVID-19. This is how the statistics are being politicized. Last I was hearing papayas were testing positive using China’s test kits. You are out of your depth.

  9. The dam fails and China gets the great reset.

  10. Three Gorges Dam is turd wurld construction. China did not steal the technology. They built it themselves. Collapse in thirty days. Over or under? I’ll take the under.

  11. Larry is a libtard | July 26, 2020 at 7:31 am | Reply

    Larry you are a true libtard.

    • People are really stupid | July 26, 2020 at 11:08 am | Reply

      Lol dumbass you’re playing right into ccp and russian hands by making it about libs and cons. Someone leaves a comment supporting ccp, and instead of attacking ccp, you go after fellow countrymen. Wake up and actually try thinking sometime, or we are screwed. Cause it won’t be the cons who keep us safe, or the libs. It will be Americans. Stop falling for the divisive bullshit propaganda being spewed by our enemies to weaken us.

  12. If you follow non-sanctioned news of the events of flooding in China, you will see far greater damage. The government has destroyed dikes and some dams to try and protect the larger cities at the expense of the rural population. As here in the USA our government is making a mess of everything and the rest of the world is in crisis, the chances of outside help is virtually impossible.

    • No, Rich, our government is not making a mess. The leftists (ties to China, for one) are making a mess. There, I fixed it for you.

  13. Just another product with Made in China written on it that doesn’t work. They probably painted it with lead paint.

  14. Trump is THE most patriotic president ever. He loves this country and the people who support that. China is the new 3rd reich. Frankly, China can eat shit and die for what THEY have done to the world and the US. Not Trump. Karma is a bitch.

  15. Larry Pryor shut up and go spend your 50¢ in China. The reason why everyone is talking shit about China is because they keep acting like assholes and thinking the world actually needs them. Guaranteed their only move to stay in power is to retreat back behind the bamboo curtain and stay there, limiting their destructive and inhumane war crimes to their own citizens. Can’t wait to see Wuhan get washed out to the Pacific when the poorly constructed dam crumbles.

  16. I think personally we should send help not money or aid inspect and share what info can be useful all live matter even Asians it’s the goverment fault of failen thair people to secure and to maintain propely but there’s go do t buy anything from China if thair iron from Walmart breaks in four times of use what about thair construction they cut corners this is what happens our hoover dam is much older and still stands maybe a little low..156ft lower but it’s ok it’s the love of working together to accomplish the goal hoover damn wasn’t made only but white men no there was six companies check it out fellows from all over came to work whites mexican.native Americans and not sure bout the bills but I know the Asians where employed by six companies so let’s help out with a solution to save live without given Chinese money dinero keep our money in the Americas Donald trump sucks I’m republican I think a native American should represent every term of office in the white house for this is thair coutry too and. Have a great day God bless every one in USA and the world..peace and love ✌️

    • Larry is a prime example of a brainwashed libtard who wants to see this country fall and destroy the history behind the foundation of the greatest country on the planet.

  17. You sick Racist shit peoples who told you that our leader murder millions of our own people those two dumb prick trump and pompeo stop pretend you don’t how many millions of people your sick country murdered the whole South America Middle East Iraq ,Libya Afghanistan Palestine Vietnam Korea and much moreDo you know what you sick people are good at not just murder rape but lie as well

  18. Why is the brown water blue? Did they change the color and not tell us? It seems like the images are altered.

  19. Eddie Was Here | July 26, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Reply

    Wow, how grateful you people are with this topic. I can tell the leftist support the Hamas Muslims democrats destroying all the thinking of the USA. God is punishing all. Open your eyes and see, an attack on our shores are imminent by anyone. The CCP knew how to corrupt the world within. Start stocking up on food and guns and take out your money in the banks. The Rapture is just starting. God bless you all. Chaos will rampage everyone, corona doesn’t care, and too many followers going off the cliff. I will say a prayer for you all. Amen … 😉

  20. This is great news. I couldn’t be happier. Made in China is just pure junk!

  21. Yeah let’s blame everything on President Trump you commie! If the dam collapses I hope the people get cleared out before.

  22. Let God saves Chinese people from Xitler Cpc.chamgadad Chinese communist party xitler ki aisi ki taisi.

  23. Des Robinson | July 27, 2020 at 1:51 am | Reply

    It’s not a China virus it’s an upwardly electrifacion of the planet get the right education and stop this narrative the Chinese People are good but CCP are not direct your anger properly and even our Western governments have Thier narrative they want to push see past the crap and find the truth yourself it eye and mind opening.

  24. First of all, the US has their own set of issues from an incompetent government to ignorant people. But china, well… let’s see if they can swim!! I hope the whole country crumbles and takes with it all of the brainwashed people, too bad half the people in this comment section weren’t there too. English people… check your grammar and spelling, nothing worse than trying to read a compelling statement and finding out it’s just another ignorant chink or paki trying to make a point.

  25. Larry’s a mo-ron.

  26. Nature has issued us an eviction notice. Might not be too late to pay her the back owed rent… before the Earth puts us out.

  27. Lord the creator of infinite , the source of everything, I wish if you are around, to end the world right now or a long time ago for creating us imperfect proud human animals who do not know what we are doing. So instead of hating my fellow humans, I hate you more than I hate them.

  28. Seems most of you are angry nut jobs filled with pure uneducated evil

  29. Randy L Owens | July 31, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Reply

    Larry Pryor is a fucktard. The End.

  30. Joella Heida | August 3, 2020 at 7:04 am | Reply

    People wishing for the worst for China don’t seem to realize the implications for Americans and people all over the world. You may want to learn how this will impact you.

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