China plans to build more than 20 dams along the country’s longest river by 2020 as part of a plan to further develop the Yangtze River’s hydropower, AP reported. The river already has the world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam. China is looking to hydropower as an important alternative to help it move away from coal, which provides more than 70% of the country’s energy supply. Hu Siyi, the vice minister of water resources, announced the plans during a forum in Shanghai that called for hydropower projects on the tributaries and upper reaches of the Yangtze. A recent Chinese Academy of Sciences report said the Three Gorges Dam is harming water quality and ecosystems of wetlands as well as fish stocks. Climate change is also likely to reduce the river’s water supply because rainfall has decreased every year since 2006, the report said.
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