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                                            The Tuoshan Dam

The Tuoshan Dam

 The Tuoshan Dam is located at the mouth of Zhang Stream beside Tuoshan Mountain in the west of Yinjiang Township and 30 kilometers from Ningbo City. It was built in 883 AD of the Tang Dynasty and today it still works very well, having been kept in good condition for over 1,160 years. It is one of the four great famous water conservancy projects built in Ancient China (the other three are the Zheng Kingdom Channel, the Lin Channel and Dujiang Dam). It can well match Dujiang Dam of Sichuan Province by its grand size, exquisite architecture and complicated structure. In January 1988, it was designated by the Council of the State as one of the specially protected national cultural heritages, and is now one of the new ten tourist attractions of Ningbo City.

The Tuoshan Dam is named after Mount Tuoshan. According to historical records of the Song Dynasty, before The Tuoshan Dam was built, salty tides from the Fenghua River would well up and flood into the local Zhangxi River, so that the water in the river was unfit for both crops and man. So Wang Yuanwei decided to have The Tuoshan Dam built to block salty water from Fenghua River and guide the stream to the east for irrigation purposes.

The Tuoshan Dam is a project of grand scale and scientific construction. It stretches across the Zhangxi River, with its either end joining Nanshan Mountain and Tuo Mountain respectively. The Dam is measured with a length of 113.7 meters, a width of 4.8 meters and a height of 3.85 meters. Its base, made up of clay-like battered rocks, is 3.7 to 6.4 meters thick. Professor Shen Zhiliang, an expert on irrigation engineering from, Qinghua University has testified to its scientific architecture.

The upper part of The Tuoshan Dam has an inclination of five degrees, which largely reinforces the Dam against rushing water. Its clever architecture is the first of its kind in the world. With clay and sand mixed as its materials, the dam is quite firm and infiltrative-proof. The middle part the dam is 3.85 meters thick and each of the two ends is 2 meters thick. The body of the dam is in shape of a slight curve, which strengthens the dam against the tide and decreases the eroding of the banks of the river. This marvelous architectural technique miraculously conforms to modern theories of mechanics. Many foreign irrigation engineering experts who have visited this Dam are astonished at its unique designing.

The Tuoshan Dam has been functioning very well ever since its completion. Water from the upper reaches, blocked by the Dam, runs into the Nantang River, so that two hundred mu of farmlands in the seven districts of Western Yinxian County are irrigated. When flooding occurs, water from the upper reaches overflows the Dam and runs into the Fenghua River, which runs into the sea. Thus, the disastrous effects of flooding in the west of Yinxian County can largely be relieved. This shows that the Dam can both discharge the flood and regulate the water running into the Nantang River. When flooding happens, seventy percent of the upper reaches water flows into the Fenghua River and the rest of the water flows into the Nantang River. When a drought comes, seventy percent of the water flows into the Nantang River and thirty percent flows into the Fenghua River. The Nantang River water runs into Ningbo City proper and collects in the Sun Lake and the Moon Lake (the Sun Lake has already been submerged), thus the river became a water source of Ningbo City.

Suggested Itinerary

The Tuoshan Dam--Tuoshan Temple--Water Conservancy Exhibition Room--Monument Pavilion