South-to-North Water Transfer Project: The huge populations filling China's northern megacities have a shortage of the single most necessary resource for life: water. To solve that problem, the Chinese will soon be moving 44.8 billion cubic meters of fresh water each year from the wetter South to the dryer North.
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The huge populations filling the megacities in the North have a shortage of the single most necessary resource for life: water. To solve that problem, the Chinese will soon be moving 44.8 billion cubic meters of fresh water each year from the wetter South to the dryer North.
There will be three canals in the project, a 716 mile-long Eastern Canal that will begin at the Yangtze River and snake uphill, with the help of more than 20 pumping stations, to reservoirs in Tianjin.
Route two will flow downhill from the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han river 785 miles across the North China Plain to Beijing.
And the third route is the Big Western Line. It’s still in its planning phase, but it will divert water from the rivers flowing into the Yangtze, sending it to the Yellow River instead.
The Central Government has rammed this project through despite many concerns over pollution and the forced relocation of hundreds of thousands of villagers. It’s also late and over budget due to the soaring costs of building bridges and tunnels for the canals to cross the many rivers and highways in its way. Then there are the fears that diverting water from the Yangtze River could cause the world’s third-longest river to run low, devastating those whose livelihoods depend on it.
One proposed solution to this problem is to give the Yangtze more water by redirecting rivers in southwestern China. But this would affect India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, potentially causing an international crisis.
For the immediate future though, the South-to-North water Transfer Project is a done deal. Following the example of the American West in the previous century, China has completely reshaped its environment using dams and canals, allowing for the arid North to support tens of millions more residents than it otherwise could.
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Date Added: 2019-04-12
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