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The Impact of Lijiaxia Hydro Power Plant to Kanbula National Park

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The present paper has identified that the Lijiaxia dam is located on the upper Yellow River. The reservoir is the largest body of water within Gansu. The dam was built primarily to provide hydroelectric power, but it is also used for flood control and irrigation. The hydro power plant of the dam has five generators with total installed capacity of 1,225MW. When it became operational it was the country’ s biggest power plant and it remained so until the 1980s. In 1955 the government announced a large-scale program of construction of hydroelectric power plant on Yellow River.   It was the first hydropower plant that introduced the concept of bidding and tendering in China.

According to the plan, one dam shall be built in each of the Three Gorges of the Yellow River; Lijia Gorge, Yanguo Gorge and Bapan Gorge. In 1958, the construction on first three dams was in progress and the Lijiaxia Dam was completed in 1969. The generators were brought into working between 1969 and 1974 in the Lijiaxia Hydroelectric Power Plant. The water reservoirs of the three dams displaced large number of local farmers.

The three dams flooded 7,781 hectares of farmland and displaced 43,829 local residents. The compensation payment to the farmers displaced averaged 365 Yuan per person, which was very inadequate. Ever since the Lijiaxia Hydro Power Plant was established, there have been several changes in the ecosystem of the Kanbula Forest. Some of the plant and animal species of the forest are becoming more vulnerable to extinction and some of them are unfortunately gone forever.   Because of the large reservoirs of water that is required for the construction of hydroelectric power plants, large areas of the forest land – that is very productive and biologically rich in nutrients – were destructed.

The situation has become more aggravated as large water dams cause fragmentation of the habitat of the surrounding areas. The deep ground excavation and filling, construction of dams – water reservoirs, spoil pipes and roads – have shifted the woodland areas.

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