Facts About The Yangtze River: The Third Longest In The World | Kidadl


Facts About The Yangtze River: The Third Longest In The World

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The Yangtze River is Asia's longest river which is located in China, the world's third longest river, and the world's longest river that flows wholly through one country.

The river starts its trip in the glacial meltwaters of Tibet's Tanggula Mountains and flows for 3,915 mi (6,300 km) before emptying into the East China Sea near Shanghai. The river runs through ten provinces of China.

The Yangtze is a name given to the river by Westerners. It means child of the ocean. The river is known in China as Chang Jiang, which means a long river, whereas the Yangtze refers to a short stretch of the river at its mouth. The river passes through the cities of Luzhou, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Yueyang, Wuhan, Jiujiang, Anqing, Tongling, Wuhu, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Nantong, and Shanghai

What are the benefits of the Yangtze River? What are the effects of pollution on the Yangtze River? Why is it important to China? This article provides you with many fun facts about the Yangtze River that will tell you more about the native animals like the Chinese porpoise and the Chinese alligator. Afterward, also check facts about the most famous rivers and facts about rivers and streams.


The Yangtze River basin is regarded as one of the most important regions in China. This region is present along the banks of the longest river of China, the Yangtze River. If you want to know more about the history of the Yangtze River, then these facts will tell you all that you need to know.

The Yangtze River basin is one of China's most densely populated areas. Despite the fact that much of China's political history has revolved around North China and the Huang He basin, successive dynasties have always valued the Yangtze region's agricultural potential.

The Grand Canal was constructed to transport grain from the Yangtze basin to the major northern capital towns; the canal's southernmost section may have been in operation as early as the fourth century BCE, and much of it was built in the seventh century CE.

The Yangtze has functioned as a political and cultural barrier throughout history. The river is now the dividing line between the provinces that make up South China. The Yangtze was also the focal point of several imperialist inroads into China during the nineteenth century and the early half of the twentieth century, with Shanghai, at the river's mouth, serving as the primary foreign commercial base. Since 1950, most of China's economic modernization has been focused on the river and its basin.


The Yangtze River plays an extremely important role in the economy of China. Provinces from where the River Yangtze passes have enjoyed great prosperity in the last few years. The benefits of the River Yangtze extend far beyond the economic benefits. There are many important cultural and civilizational benefits that the river Yangtze provides.

Here are some of the most important aspects of River Yangtze which you must check out:

Flood management is a critical benefit of the Three Gorges Dam. Floods on the Yangtze River have been a calamity for humanity from ancient times, especially in the Hubei province and the Dongting Lake area. During the flood season, the Three Gorges Dam can effectively store water from the upper stream and decrease flooding. The Three Gorges Dam's typical storage level is 574 ft (174 m), and its flood control capacity is 29 billion cu yd (22.15 billion cu m), which will protect the Yangtze River's middle and lower reaches. If once-in-a-century floods occur, the large dam can contain the water and discharge a flood of 35,315-43,162 cu yd (27,000-33,000 cubic m) per second, giving time for workers to be transferred to avoid loss of life. The value of the Three Gorges Dam is self-evident. It has a total capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts and an annual power generation of 100 billion kilowatt-hours, the Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest hydroelectric facility, meeting the electricity demands of middle and eastern China.

The Three Gorges Dam, located in the Yangtze River's middle reaches, elevates the water level in the upper stream and considerably improves the waterway conditions from Chongqing to Yichang, a distance of 410 mi (660 km). During the dry season, the water in the lower parts of the river can receive sufficient supplies to enable regular water conveyance. Ships of 22,046,200 lb (10,000 MT) may travel directly between Chongqing and Wuhan, and even further to Shanghai. Furthermore, as navigable waterways improve, ship and fleet sizes become more standardized and larger, and transportation costs are predicted to decrease. Drought resistance is one of the benefits of the Three Gorges Dam that was not planned when it was built. Later, in response to water scarcity and drought in the Yangtze River's middle and lower sections, the government chose to use the Three Gorges Dam to combat drought. During the dry season or when the Yangtze River basin experiences drought, the stored water in the Three Gorges Reservoir is discharged downstream, ensuring the water level downstream while also providing water for farm irrigation, industrial output, and human and animal drinking.

Since the dam was opened to the public in 1997, one of the most major benefits of the Three Gorges Dam has been thriving tourism. Visitors are enthralled by the Yangtze River's wonder, as a massive dam rises.

Aside from the Three Gorges Dam scenic area, Three Gorges cruises between Chongqing and Yichang are becoming increasingly popular, attracting tourists from both China and overseas.

Effects Of Pollution

Pollution has been one of the biggest threats facing the Yangtze River. As the development activities picked pace in provinces around the River Yangtze, the levels of pollution have increased considerably. As a result, some extremely serious effects have been witnessed on the ecology of the river.

Here are some extremely important aspects related to the effects of pollution on the River Yangtze.

Is the Yangtze River a polluted river? Yes, you're right. Industrial wastewater discharge, agricultural chemical fertilizer, silt accumulation, ship trash, and acid rain were the main causes of pollution in the Yangtze River. In 2016, 77,867 billion lb (35.32 billion MT) of sewage water was discharged into the Yangtze River. The central government, thankfully, has taken notice of the Yangtze River water pollution and has established a series of new policies and regulations to control and cure the situation. As a result of efforts undertaken around the country, water quality has improved. The fight against pollution is still far from over.

There are various factories along the Yangtze River, particularly in its middle and lower reaches. Historically, many factories dumped sewage directly into the Yangtze River, making it the world's most polluted river. The Yangtze River's water quality cannot be restored in a short period of time, despite the fact that the volume of wastewater has fallen dramatically since it was controlled.

Agricultural fertilizer spilled into the Yangtze River and its lakes when it rained, causing eutrophication. It used to be a nightmare. Excess agricultural nitrogen and phosphorus, often known as eutrophication, were the primary causes of water contamination in the Yangtze River Estuary. In the river's lakes, eutrophication was more severe. Every year in Taihu Lake, for example, eutrophication is used to cause a blue-green algal bloom. The yearly blue-green algae removal in Taihu Lake lasted more than half a year in 2007, with 26,000 tonnes of blue-green algae extracted every day. Poyang Lake and Dongting Lake were visually identical.

Due to a booming maritime economy, the Yangtze River sees a huge number of ships coming and going every day. Some sailors threw trash into the river without thinking about it, and others threw living waste into the river without thinking. It became a significant polluter of the Yangtze River. The garbage from Yangtze River ships totaled 165,347,000 lb (75,000 MT) in 2015, while live sewage totaled 793,664 million lb (360 million MT). At the time, people were considered to be able to walk upstream of Gezhouba Dam on the abandoned garbage with no danger.

To alleviate pollution in the Yangtze River, the central government and local governments have undertaken a range of techniques. The situation has slightly improved. In general, chemical companies were obliged to repair or shut down. Every factory was told to move at least one kilometer away from the water's edge. The sewage outfall on the river has been redesigned to be more efficient. In terms of inspection and administration, the sewage outfall into the Yangtze River has been strengthened. The wastewater cannot be discharged until it meets the sewage discharge requirements. There are also some pollution-control ordinances in existence at the local level.

Interesting Facts About The Yangtze River

Are you looking for some interesting facts on the Yangtze River? Then read on for some interesting facts which will tell you more about the history and importance of this river for China.

The Yangtze is only second to the Nile in terms of size, but it comfortably outnumbers it in terms of history as it is one of the oldest rivers on the planet. This river has deep gorges. Being the third-longest in the world has been quite a tale for this River. The Yangtze stretches and the Yangtze flows throughout south China. This long river even makes contact with the Yellow River. The Tongtian River is a sectional tributary of this river in a different state, just like the major tributaries Dangqu River and Jinsha River. There is the Tuotuo River, also called the tearful river. The name is derived from Classical Tibetian saying dam chu.

These rivers have helped the Chinese civilization throughout central China, in Chinese history. It further reunites with the mother river. It receives the biggest tributary from the Han Rivers. The Han River brings water from its northern basin as far as Shaanxi. These are species-rich rivers. The Yangtze cruise to form the Yangtze basin around the borders of China. Archibald John Little had taken an interest in Upper Yangtze navigation in 1876. The Chinese government has taken efforts to preserve this river.

The river passes through a range of landscapes, including high plateaus and lowland plains, but it spends the majority of its voyage, almost three-quarters of it, in mountainous areas, including some breathtakingly beautiful spots with deep valleys, canyons, and gorges. Around 700 tributaries feed the river, including eight major rivers: the Yalung, Min, Jialing, Han, Wu, Yuan, Xiang, and Gan rivers.

The Yangtze River is vital to Chinese agriculture, industry, and transportation. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it is the country's principal river, with roughly one-third of the population living in its basin, which spans 448 million acres (WWF). The Yangtze River has long been thought to be the dividing line between North and South China, although geographers believe the true dividing line is the Qinling-Huai River.

According to the publication, International Water Power & Dam Construction, the Three Gorges Dam, which was finished in May 2006, is the world's largest hydropower facility. It stands 630 ft (192 m) tall and spans 1.4 mi (2.3 km). The dam is roughly 1,000 mi (1,610 km) west of Shanghai, in the Three Gorges Region, commonly regarded as the Yangtze River's most scenic region. The Three Gorges (three narrow, neighboring valleys) run the length of the river's middle reaches.

In general, the dam was built to generate energy, enhance shipping capacity, and lessen the risk of hazardous floods; nonetheless, the dam is well-known for its involvement in producing environmental disasters and displacing people, according to the group International Rivers. According to International Rivers, the project set records for the number of people evacuated (almost 1.2 million) and the number of civilized regions inundated (13 cities, 140 towns, 1,350 villages). Unfortunately, as a result of the dam's construction, numerous historic archaeological sites were inundated, resulting in the loss of ancient remains.

In the Yangtze River basin, the average annual rainfall is roughly 43 in (1,100 mm). The majority of the constant precipitation falls as rain in the river's middle and lower reaches, especially during the hot summer monsoons. Snow is the most prevalent type of precipitation in mountainous places.

The volume of the river varies greatly depending on the time of year and the river's segment. The average flow rate upstream is around 70,000 cu ft (1,980 cu m) per second. As other tributaries join the mainstream further downstream, the volume progressively increases.

The Yangtze had a water volume of roughly 529,000 cu ft (15,000 cu m) up to 1,100,000 cu feet (31,148 cu m) near the conclusion of the Three Gorges area (31,100 cubic metres) at its mouth before the Three Gorges Dam was completed. Because of the dam, these numbers have fallen slightly. At the mouth of the river, the suspended sediment load (sediment carried in the current flow but never fully settles on the bottom) is roughly 1,058,220 million lb (478 million MT) per year, making it one of the largest sediment loads of any river on the planet.

The Yangtze River basin, which comprises 181 million hectares (448 million acres), is one of the world's most biodiverse places, according to the World Wildlife Fund, with towering mountains and dense forests, as well as marshy marshes and waterways (WWF). According to WWF, the region is home to more than 280 mammal species, 145 amphibian species, 166 reptile species, and 378 fish species. According to YangtzeRiver.org, fish species include yellow head catfish, carp, copper fish, Chinese shad, eel, anchovy, and the Chinese pufferfish.

Unfortunately, many of the creatures in the Yangtze River basin are listed on the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The statuses vary from Fragile (at risk of extinction in the wild) to Endangered (in the wild at risk of extinction) to Highly Endangered (at risk of extinction in the wild) (extremely high risk of extinction in the wild). The giant panda dwells in the bamboo forests of the Upper Yangtze region, where it was recently downgraded from an endangered to a Vulnerable category. Despite the fact that the giant panda has no natural predators, the WWF estimates that there are only about 1,800 in the wild.

The Yangtze River basin is known as China's huge granary. Agriculture is the economic backbone of the basin. The grains that are grown here, according to Travel China Guide,70% of which is rice, are sufficient to feed half of the people of the nation. Barley, cotton, wheat, corn, and beans are among the other crops farmed here.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 200 facts about the Yangtze River the third longest in the world then why not take a look at rivers of the world, or deepest rivers in the world.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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