“Diversion debate”

In keeping with the water theme, a post from China Dialogue about yet another water diversion plan:

Chinese scientists have dreamed up yet another mega engineering scheme: to divert water from Tibet’s Yarlung Zangbo River, along a course that follows the Tibet-Qinghai railway line to Golmud, through the Gansu Corridor and, finally, to Xinjiang, in north-west China.

The man behind the proposal is Wang Guangqian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of Tsinghua University’s State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering. Although the Ministry of Water Resources has not given its support to the scheme, Wang insists it is “feasible”.

On June 3, Wang revealed that the authorities are considering a water-diversion plan for western China. He told reporters that, the previous day, Li Ruihuan – former member of the standing committee of the Political Bureau and chair of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – had gathered Wang and others together to give and listen to presentations on the proposal. He said that everyone there was in agreement: “It is time for a water-diversion project in western China.”

It has previously been suggested that such a project could move 200 billion cubic metres of water a year – the equivalent of four Yellow Rivers. It would require core project finance of more than 200 billion yuan (US$30.9 billion) and be “an unprecedented undertaking in the history of the Chinese people.”

What do you think: another plan that won’t ever see the light of day, or the next enormous Chinese engineering wonder?

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