In this study, we quantified the atmospheric wet deposition (AWD) of 13 trace metals (TMs) and estimated their potential effects on the surface water of the Three Gorges Reservoir in China. Precipitation was collected in Wanzhou in southwestern China from March 2015 to February 2016. The concentrations and fluxes of the 13 TMs were in the ranges of 0.16–9.44 µg L−1
and 0.18–10.22 mg m−2
, respectively, in the order Al > Zn > Fe > Ba > Pb > Mn > Ti > Cd > Cu > As > V > Ni ≈ Cr. Using principal component analysis, it was found that Al, Ba, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn were mainly derived from a mixture of soil and road dust, As, Cd, Cr, Pb and Ti primarily originated from the local industries, and Ni and V were related to diesel and gasoline combustion, including both vehicle exhaust emissions and ship emissions from the nearby Yangtze River. The estimated TM inputs to the Three Gorges Reservoir were 11.1, 11.0, 5.7, 5.3, 4.5, 2.7, 2.5, 1.5, 1.0, 0.7, 0.5, 0.2, and 0.2 t yr−1
for Al, Zn, Fe, Ba, Pb, Mn, Ti, Cd, Cu, As, V, Ni and Cr, respectively. The AWD TM fluxes in Wanzhou were lower than those in metropolises and their inputs were limited for surface water of the Three Gorges Reservoir. However, Cd was strongly enriched in precipitation and rainstorms greatly increased the surface water concentrations of Cd and Pb. Therefore, the behavior of Cd and Pb in southwestern mountain areas of China, including emission, transport, transformation, and their ecological effects, should be given more attention in future studies.