China issues warning on faulty dams

Almost half of China's nearly 90,000 dams are dangerously unstable and in urgent need of repair, Reuters reported the government as saying on Tuesday, as it unveiled a three-year repair plan.

Of the roughly 87,000 dams in China, more than 37,000 were in a dangerous state, the report said, adding that the three-year plan will cost 27 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion).

The plan aims to make urgent repairs to often hastily and poorly built dams from the Mao era as climate change increases the threat of weather extremes and flooding.

"The design and construction quality of many of these dams contain congenital deficiencies, and they are now old and in serious need of repairs," deputy Water Resources Minister Jiao Yong was reported as saying. "A large number have hidden dangers."

"As the global climate heats up, weather extremes like torrential rain increases and as society and the economy develops downstream of dams, the potential danger gets greater and greater," Jiao added.

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