Abstract：The rapid development of new materials and scientific technology in the 19th century stimulated the development of modern water conservancy engineering in the west. To conquer the nature is the main idea in the western plans of water conservancy engineering, which pushes the human utilization of rivers to the limit. The modern water conservancy projects, represented by reservoirs with high dams, have promoted the economic development. However, these engineering projects have long-term negative impacts on river ecosystems and the natural environment. In this paper, based on comparison of the ancient and modern concepts for water conservancy plans, we discussed the scientific and culture values of Chinese ancient engineering of water conservancy. It was pointed out that we should learn from the history and it is necessary to protect and utilize the water conservancy heritages.