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This article first elaborates the evolution of human-water relationship in the middle reaches of Yangtze River. In the ancient times, natural habitats of the human species were centered around large water and grass rich areas. People maintained an orderly and complete relationship with the water-environment, with the progression of time agricultural societies, begun to exploit the Two-Lake Plains (Hunan and Hubei plains), they constructed irrigation projects and re-constructed the water environment. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, reclamation from lakes caused deterioration of human-water relationship, by the time china was declared a sovereign government, Chinapsilas human-water relationship had became comprehensively deteriorated. further more, this paper also analyzes the influence of human activities on the water environment focusing on aspects of the changes within the lakes system, the evolution of hydrological characteristics, the variation of the frequency of flood disaster and the deterioration of water quality in the middle reach of Yangtze River. The result showed that river systems of Yunmeng marsh, Dongting Lake, Poyang Lake, Jingjiang river have undergone profound changes; the runoff and the sediment content exhibited a decreasing trend in recent years. The frequency of flood disaster has also been on the increase in recent decades. The rapid development of agriculture and other industries accelerated the ecological environmental destruction and the water quality. Finally, the paper discusses the water environmental variation and its effects on human social culture, custom, architecture, settlement vicissitude as well as the agriculture and the influence of flood disaster intensification. The paper demonstrates that water is one of the necessary driving forces for social development.
Date of Conference: 4-5 July 2009