The us $4 billion Xiaolangdi dam on the Yellow River is the other side of the coin of China's water conservation efforts. The massive dam is coming up on the Yangtze Kiang in the Henan province south of Beijing. The contribution of the dam - to be completed on June 30, 2001 - may prove to be greater than the controversial Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze.

Nicholas Hope, director, China and Mongolia department of the WB, said that China had utilised the loans in an "excellent" manner. The WB has loaned about us $3 billion to China since the early 1980s, including us $570 million for the Xiaolangdi project.

At Henan, work on a huge, multipurpose 1.3 km rock dam, which will rise 154 m from the valley floor, is in progress. The site is situated at a 'critical point) on the 5,500 km-long Yangtze, below the main catchment, which accounts for about 90 per cent of the river's flow each year.

The dam will regulate the Yangtze's flow, protecting 120 million eople down-stream from terrible floods which have been killing millions. Besides, the dam will drive turbines having a capacity of 1,800 mw, generating electricity worth us $170 million per year.

The wB says that the dam will raise crops yield on about two million hectares of land and make more water available to cities like Qingdao in Shangdong province that rely on the Yangtze.

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