Economy >Tertiary Industry
Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Located on the Min River in the western part of Chengdu Plain, Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a hydraulic engineering project that was originally constructed by Governor of Shu for the State of Qin, Li Bing and his son at the end of King Zhao’s reign (about 256BC to 251BC). Nowadays, it continues to play a role in flood control and irrigation, and is the oldest and only surviving non-dam irrigation system in the world.
Earthquake dams pose floods risk

Earthquake survivors in Sichuan province face a serious threat of flooding because of earthquake damage to dams, officials say. There are cracks on the surface of the Zipingku dam on the Min river, near the epicentre of this week's quake. The hard-hit city of Dujiangyan, 10km (six miles) away, would be at risk if major problems emerge. Water Resources Minister Chen Lei said there was further evidence of damage to almost 400 dams in the region. He said there were also "prominent problems in safety and flood prevention" in reservoirs and hydropower stations in the affected areas. The extent of the danger at hydropower stations remains unclear because management systems are "not smooth", he added. Urgent attention is being paid in particular to medium-sized dams close to the town of Wenchuan, after an official warned that problems at the nearby Tulong reservoir. 'Poor record' The Zipingku dam is upstream from the Dujiangyan irrigation system, which has supplied water to Sichuan's fertile eastern plains for more than 2,000 years. While the 156m-high (511ft) dam has been declared structurally safe, about 2,000 troops have been sent there to help with emergency repairs. This could involve pouring soil into the river upstream that would then be sucked into the cracks and potentially seal them, Tom Foulkes, director-general of the UK-based Institution of Civil Engineers, told the BBC News website. Chinese soldiers tackle 'extremely dangerous' cracks in Zipingku Dam The authorities have also discharged large amounts of water from the reservoir, to help ease pressure on the dam wall. However, experts have warned that the move was likely to swamp irrigation systems further downstream. Aviva Imhof, a US-based expert with the organisation International Rivers, told the BBC that China had a poor record concerning collapsed dams. A report on the group's website said the government had been warned of earthquake risks to the project before it was built. Ms Imhof said that there were fears that aftershocks could lead to a devastating breach, leading to "untold destruction" downstream. Mr Foulkes agreed that aftershocks were a real concern, but said that detailed seismic risk surveys were generally undertaken before beginning large dam projects in China. "These fault lines are pretty well understood, and dams are generally designed with enough strength to cope," he added. Smaller dams The dam was finished in 2006, and Mr Foulkes said it was of a type - made of rock with a waterproof concrete membrane - highly suitable for earthquake zones. Map of area around dam He said he was particularly concerned about older, smaller dams, often simply built from mounds of earth, which could be just as deadly if they collapsed. Sichuan's two other major water projects, the Three Gorges dam and the South-to-North water diversion project, are said to be undamaged. The earthquake zone is also home to China's chief nuclear weapons research laboratory at Mianyang and other testing sites. China's Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation said on its website that several facilities in Sichuan had been damaged, but there was no mention of radioactive leaks.

Mt. Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan irrigation system (Chengdu city, Sichuan province)

Brief Introduction A major landmark in the development of water management and technology in ancient China and one of the birthplaces of the Taoist religion. Located in Sichuan province, southwest China, this site consists of Mt. Qingcheng, the Dujiangyan irrigation system, the Dragon Stream (Longxi) and the Iris Port (Hongkou). It was put under state-class protection in 1982. The Dujiangyan irrigation system was first built in 256 BC (during the Warring States Period) by magistrate Li Bing. It comprises three major projects―a water-dividing dam, flood-convergence route and water-divergence port. One of the earliest irrigation systems of China and still in use today, it serves to divert waters from the Minjiang River to the West Sichuan Plain. There are many cultural relics in the neighborhood, including the Temple of the Two Kings (Erwangmiao), the Temple of the Hidden Dragon (Fulongguan), the Bridge of Peaceful Waves (Anlanqiao) and the Li Mounds (Lidui). Mt. Qingcheng was the birthplace of Taoism in China. With over 20 temples and religious sites for Taoism, it exudes a strong flavor of Taoist culture and the buildings demonstrate the Sichuan style of architecture. Cultural Heritage Large stone inscriptions by Huang Yunhu of the Qing Dynasty are prominent on the mountain, reading The fifth most famous mountain under Heaven and Top of Mt. Qingcheng. A 2.9-m-high and 4.5-ton statue of Li Bing, made 1,800 years ago, the first altorilievo stone sculpture in Chinese history, is now on display in a hall on the mountain after its excavation from a riverbed in 1974. Inscriptions recording water management methods, maps of Dujiangyan made in the Qing Dynasty and testimonials to Li Bing and his son are also on display, side by side with precious art works by several famous modern painters such as Xu Beihong, Zhang Daqian and Guan Shanyue. Taoist Culture Mt. Qingcheng is one of the birthplaces of Taoism. In the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), the founder of Taoism, Tianshi (Celestial Master) Zhang Daoling once set up his pulpit here to give lectures. During the Tang Dynasty, advocates of the newly introduced Buddhism vied with the Taoists for this base, until Emperor Xuanzong allocated the mountain to the latter. As an indigenous religion of China, the Taoist religion was initiated in the Eastern Han Dynasty by Zhang Daoling and developed ever since. It is part of Taoism in the larger sense, which is deeply inspired by the theory of Laotsu in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and features the harmony of human and nature, the virtue of leisure and tranquility, and a positive attitude toward the occult and the metaphysical. The Taoist religion, which is concerned with the ritual worship of the Tao, has a profound influence upon Chinese life. Mt. Qingcheng is a representative site of Taoist culture. Major religious sites here include the Natural Picture (a building complex immersed in Nature), the Celestial Master's Cave (Tianshidong), the Hall of the Ancestral Masters (Zushidian), Cave Facing the Sun (Chaoyangdong) and the Palace of Celestial Freshness (Shangqinggong). All structures are shaded by dense woods and embraced by nature. The Celestial Master's Cave, perched on a cliff with only a small path leading to its entrance, houses statues of Fuxi, Shennong and Xuanyuan (three legendary primeval kings of the Han people) on its main altar. The Natural Picture is a building complex made of wood. Lying in the arms of high mountains and steep cliffs, it presents a lush and primitive view of forests and pure sky. The neighboring Crane-dwelling Village adds even more colors to the picture when the white cranes cruise gracefully among the mountain peaks.

River cruise restores ancient custom at Dujiangyan Dam

Actors play the ancient governor Li Bing and his subordinate as they inspect the water system at the Ancient River Cruise Imitation Ceremony held in Dujiangyan on April 2. River cruise restores ancient custom at Dujiangyan Dam A large-scale landscape show takes place along the Minjiang River in memory of Li Bing, designer of the Dujiangyan irrigation system. An Ancient River Cruise Imitation Ceremony was held on April 2 as a key part of the 2013 China Dujiangyan Qingming Water-Releasing Festival that opened on April 4 in Dujiangyan, Chengdu, Sichuan province. At the ceremony, actors imitated the ancient engineer Li Bing and his subordinates while they inspected the Dujiangyan irrigation system. Li Bing is the designer of the Dujiangyan irrigation system, and he served the state of Qin (221 – 206 BC) as an administrator. According to historical records, the Dujiangyan system was built in 256AD to tame frequent flooding of the Minjiang River. It has stood for nearly 2,300 years, diverting water to irrigate nearly 70,000 hectares of farmland in the province. It is considered to be the oldest water-control project still functioning in the world. The Dujiangyan irrigation system was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. It was also listed among the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects in 2006.

Knowledge Graph

1 The region around the Dujiangyan irrigation system and Qingcheng Mountain was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site in 2000, and a World Natural Heritage site six years later for it is part of panda habitat. In 2007, it was listed as one of the nation's first 5A scenic spots.

2 The Dujiangyan irrigation system is set in a pleasant location overlooked by the tree-lined slopes of Mount Yulei.

3 Mr Walker comes from the USA and has been working in China for eight years. He took part in the tour with his wife and four kids. During the trip, he was most impressed by the Dujiangyan irrigation system built in 256 BC.