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Three Gorges reservoir water at year's highest

(Xinhua)

09:13, July 17, 2012

YICHANG, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The water level in China's Three Gorges reservoir has hit this year's highest since the world's largest dam began handling seasonal floods at the beginning of this month.

The water level in the reservoir, which is contained by the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, of central China's Hubei province, hit 158.9 meters high on Sunday evening, sources with the dam's managing authority said. The water level reached its designed highest mark of 175 meters on Oct. 26, 2010.

At the beginning of July, the water level was lowered to about 145 meters in order to deal with floods expected from the Yangtze River, according to the coordination division of the China Three Gorges Corporation.

Two flood peaks, with a flow rate of 56,000 cubic meters of water per second, arrived at the reservoir on July 7 and 12.

A total of 8 billion cubic meters of water have been stored at the site during the past two weeks, according to the sources.

The world's largest hydropower project releases water in dry seasons to ease droughts and blocks water during rainy seasons to alleviate flood pressure in downstream areas.

Flooding has left more than 600 ships stranded on sections of the Yangtze River near the dam, and evacuation of the ships is under way, sources said.

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