Environment

See an Ancient Wonder of China that Transforms a River

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

On the edge of Chengdu, in China's Sichuan province, a ceremony at a historic site honours a genius whose engineering legacy remains after more than two thousand years.In the third century B.C., Li Bing, serving the ruling Qin state, devised this system of weir works—levees, partial dams, and waterways—to regulate the flow of the Min River, the largest tributary of the Yangtze. 

By diverting part of the Min at Dujiangyan, Li Bing's system prevented floods and provided consistent irrigation for farming. On the eve of China's Qingming Festival, a day to celebrate ancestors, Dujiangyan hosts the Water Releasing Festival with traditional costumes and events honouring Li Bing, whose historical impact is as clear as the azure water of the Min River.