Chinese state media report that experts say the country could face a catastrophe if it fails to quickly resolve environmental problems caused by the massive Three Gorges Dam.
Government-run news outlets Wednesday said experts are concerned by flooding and erosion on hillsides along the Yangtze River around the dam.
The reports note the concerns of Wang Xiaofeng, the head of the office in charge of constructing the dam. He is quoted as saying China can not win by achieving economic prosperity at the cost of the environment.
He said the hydro-electric project has caused conflicts over land shortages and environmental degradation caused by irrational development.
The Chinese government has hailed the Three Gorges Dam as its greatest engineering project since the Great Wall.
It has said the project is a source of clean power and a solution to devastating flooding on the Yangtze River.
Human rights and environmental activists have long condemned the $22 billion dam, because of its negative effects on people and the environment.
The construction and flooding behind the dam has forced nearly one-and-a-half million people to leave their homes.