Based on the measured hydrological data from 1951 to 2008, the chain hydrological effect between Jingjiang River and Dongting Lake is analyzed by comparative method after the Three Gorges Project operation. The result indicates that 1) the scouring amount in Jingjiang River made up 78.9% of the total from Yichang to Chenglingji, and its average scouring intensity was higher than the latter; 2) the water and sand diversion rates at the three outlets of the Jingjiang River were reduced by 2.33% and 2.78% separately; 3) the proportion of multi-year average runoff and sediment through the three outlets in the total into the Dongting Lake decreased by 7.7% and 24.4% respectively; 4) in Dongting Lake, the speed of sediment accumulation was lowered by 26.7%, in flood season, the runoff amount was 20.2% less than the multi-year average value, leading to seasonal scarcity of water year by year. The former prolonged the lake life, while the latter induced droughts in summer and fall in successive years, shortage of drinking and industrial water, shipping insecurity, as well as ecological problems such as decrease of birds and quick increase of Microtus fortis; 5) The multi-year average values of sediment and flood transporting capacity at the lake outlet were respectively increased by 26.6% and 3.7%, the embankments were protected effectively. Then, to adapt to the new change of the river-lake relation, some suggestions were put forward, such as optimizing further operation program of the Three Gorges Reservoir, reexamining the idea of river and lake regulation, and maintaining connection of the river and the lake.
initial period of Three Gorges Project operation silt-discharge relating hydrological effect Dongting Lake area