Dujiangyan is the site of the world’s oldest irrigation system and is designated a World Heritage Site. Experts such as Chen Qingheng, a researcher with the Chengdu ecological research centre under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has said, “It is irrational to build such stations as they will destroy the natural ecology along the river” and will thereby affect the quality of drinking water.

The Botiao River is one of four tributaries of the Min River and is the main source of drinking water for the inhabitants of Chengdu. Zhao Wenqian, deputy director of the Sichuan provincial academy of water resources, is concerned that the dams will raise the level of the river, which he said would significantly increase flood risk.

The plants are expected to cost approximately US$135M and will have an estimated combined capacity ofmore than 100MW.. An environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project plans began in June 2006 and is ongoing.