Dujiangyan Irrigation System

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System diverts water from the Minjiang River, supplying Chengdu with fresh water and preventing floods. The dike Yuzui in the background separates the Minjiang River (flowing towards the left in this photo) into the inner river seen in this photo and the outer river on the other side (not visible). The diversion gate Baopingkou in the foreground to the left diverts water from the inner river down into an aqueduct towards Chengdu and allows excess water to continue down the Minjiang river. The spillway Feishayan is to the left of Baopingkou and is not visible in this photo.

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System (都江堰; pinyin: Dū Jiāng Yàn) is a historical irrigation system constructed around 250 BCE by governor of Shu Li Bing (李冰) and his son, 56 km west of present day Chengdu, which it still supplies with water. This irrigation system diverts part of the Minjiang River into an aqueduct leading to Chengdu. In order to build this irrigation system, it was necessary to cut a path through the mountains on the bank of the Minjiang River. The builders accomplished this before the invention of explosives by repeatedly heating and cooling the rock to crack and weaken it. The system also includes a dike in the middle of the river to help reduce the amount of silt that flows into the aqueduct. A spillway allows excess water to continue down the Minjiang River in order to prevent the flooding of the Chengdu basin.

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System has been designated a World Heritage Sites and is popular tourist attraction.


The three big water conservation projects in ancient China are:

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