Introducing Dujiangyan Irrigation System (from wikipedia)
The Dujiangyan is an ancient irrigation system in Dujiangyan City. Originally constructed around 256 BC by the State of Qin as an irrigation and flood control project, it is still in use today. The system’s infrastructure develops on the Min River (Minjiang), the longest tributary of the Yangtze. The area is in the west part of the Chengdu Plain, between the Sichuan basin and the Tibetan plateau. Originally, the Min River would rush down from the Min Mountains and slow down abruptly after reaching the Chengdu Plain, filling the watercourse with silt, thus making the nearby areas extremely prone to floods. Li Bing, then governor of Shu for the state of Qin, and his son headed the construction of the Dujiangyan, which harnessed the river using a new method of channeling and dividing the water rather than simply damming it. The water management scheme is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometres (2,000 sq mi) of land in the region.
Dujiangyan Irrigation System Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Du Jiang Yan 都江堰
• Best Time to Visit: April to October
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 2 to 3 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, history & culture
• Opening Hours: 08:30-18:00 from Apr to Oct, 08:00-17:30 from Nov to Mar
• Entrance Fee: ¥80
• Address: Gongyuan Road, Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province
UNESCO says of Dujiangyan Irrigation System
The Dujiangyan irrigation system, located in the western portion of the Chengdu flatlands at the junction between the Sichuan basin and the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, is an ecological engineering feat originally constructed around 256 BC. Modified and enlarged during the Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties, it uses natural topographic and hydrological features to solve problems of diverting water for irrigation, draining sediment, flood control, and flow control without the use of dams. Today the system comprises two parts: the Weir Works, located at an altitude of 726m, the highest point of the Chengdu plain 1km from Dujiangyan City, and the irrigated area. Three key components of the Weir Works control the water from the upper valley of the Minjiang River: the Yuzui Bypass Dike, the Feishayan Floodgate, and the Baopingkou Diversion Passage. Together with ancillary embankments and watercourses including the Baizhang Dike, the Erwang Temple Watercourse and the V-Shaped Dike, these structures ensure a regular supply of water to the Chengdu plains. The system has produced comprehensive benefits in flood control, irrigation, water transport and general water consumption. Begun over 2,250 years ago, it now irrigates 668,700 hectares of farmland.
What to expect at Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Dujiangyan Irrigation System was built under the leadership of Li Bing, Governor of Shu Prefecturein the Qin State, to control the flood of the Minjiang River in 256BC. The project uses the way of “water diversion without a dam” and mainly comprises Fish Mouth Levee, Feisha Weir Spillway and Baopingkou. It takes advantage of the natural terrain at mountain pass of the Minjiang River and flow rules of the bend, and integrates three main works into a whole, thus to effectively solve problems of diversion irrigation, flood discharge and sediment ejection, form a scientific and integrate automatic irrigation and drainage system, inoculate the “Land of Abundance” Chengdu Plain.
Baopingkou (also named Bottle-Neck Channel) is a gap cut on the long ridge of JianshanMountain (now called Guankou Mountain and Yulei Mountain) toward the Minjiang River, and also an artificial throat to control the water inflow of the InnerRiver. It is named after its shape like a bottle neck with amazing function. The hill on the right side of Baopingkou, separating from its mountain body, is called Lidui. The width and bottom height of Baopinkou are strictly controlled; the ancient people carved dozens of division lines on the palisades, which was named “Water Rule”, the earliest water gauge of China.
Dujiang Weir comprises Fish Mouth, Feisha Weir and Baopingkou. Fish Mouth, as a diversion dam built in the middle of river, separates the turbulent Minjiang River into Outer River and Inner River, which are used for flood discharge and diversion irrigation respectively. Feisha Weir plays a great role in discharging flood, removing sand and modulating water flow. Baopinkou controls the rate of inflow and is named after its bottle-neck shape. It works until now, so it is called the “Live Water Conservation Museum”.
How to get to Dujiangyan Irrigation System
• Dujiangyan Irrigation System is approximately 60 km away from Chengdu.
• Bullet train is available from Chengdu to Dujiangyan.
• Take a bus from Chengdu Ximen Bus Station to Dujiangyang City. Then take bus No. 1 or 4 to Dujiangyan Scenic Area.
• Rent a car/bus from GGC to enjoy a hassle free private transfer from hotels in Chengdu to Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
Additional travel advice on Dujiangyan Irrigation System
• Please wear comfortable hiking shoes and clothes.
• It often rains at Dujiangyan area. Please prepare an umbrella or a raincoat along with you.
• Long-sleeved clothes are necessary to prevent mosquito bites or prepare mosquito repellent.
• Please take care when having fun near water.