2019-03-20 14:10

Located in Sichuan Province in the middle reaches of the Min River, the first tributary of the Yangtze River, Dujiangyan was built at the end of the reign of King Zhao of the Qin Dynasty (about 256 BC to 251 BC). This is regarded as a miracle in the world’s history of water resources which transformed the western Sichuan plain into “a land of abundance” and freed it from flood and drought, because it takes full advantage of the area’s natural, geological and water characteristics. Therefore, this seemingly simple water project can give full play to its functions in automatic sediment discharge, control of water distribution and irrigation. It was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2000 and the World Water Systems Program List in 2018.

Dujiangyan is composed of the Fish Mouth and Diamond Dike (diversion and drainage function), the Flying Sand Weir and Miter Dike (control function), and Baopingkou (diversion function). The original construction materials were mainly bamboo cages, wooden piles and pebbles. The pebbles were loaded into the bamboo cages to build dikes and weirs, and reinforced with the wooden piles. The project has been continuously improved throughout history. During the Han Dynasty (202 BC to 220 AD) and the Western Jin Dynasty (266 AD to 316 AD), dedicated water officers were appointed in irrigation districts. Since the 10th century, a relatively independent management system for the engineering and water use management of Dujiangyan has been formed, under the joint stewardship of the government and the people.

Thanks to its excellent management system, Dujiangyan remains operational to this day. Since the 1970s, water diversion facilities have been added and reservoirs have been built. It has evolved from providing direct irrigation into the combination of storage and diversion. Its current irrigation area has reached 10 million mu (667 thousand ha).

Dujiangyan has become the lifeline of the Chengdu Plain it nourishes. Ancient buildings including the Two Kings Temple built in memory of Li Bing and his son, the designer and organizer of Dujiangyan, as well as the Yulei Pass, Suspension Bridge, Guanlan Pavilion and Southern Bridge on both sides of Minjiang River and Dujiangyan Channel all constitute Dujiangyan’s cultural heritage.