Water crisis in China

by J Willis on November 15, 2013 - 11:56am

China is expected to finally end the first phase of th gigantic South-North Water Transfer project. This project was created because the south area of China has a lot of water, and the north does not. This project will have a cost of over than 65 billion of dollars, without including the ecological and social impacts. It will transfer 45 billion cubic meters of water per years, taking the water from the Yangtze River in southern China to the Yellow River Bassin in arid nothern China. The Chinese government has turned to an engineering scheme originally conceived by Chairman Mao. There is a lot of water in China, but it is not equally distributed. The south has most of the water, letting the north with nothing much. Water scarcity is a big issue. The major nothern cities have dropped so low, that the Chinese government had tried to impose limits of water use to conserve it, but it did not change the scarcity water. There was not enough water for the growing demand. Ecologists thinks of this project that « It is easier to increase the quantity of water ressources, at whatever coast, rather than allocate a limited supply between competing interests». This project puts China's economy and the ecological future at risk, because the water transfer won't last indefinilety. At one point Beijing won't be able to transfer water anymore. Another problem that they will face, is when they will need to discuss who gets how much water.


China will need important political reforms to find solutions of the water scarcity. They will need to reinforce their legal system in order to decide the difficult decision of who gets what. Im pretty sure that many debates and fights will come along this decision; how to distribute the water they will receive. We are very lucky of not having this issue. Water scarcity is an issue many countries are suffering. I think this project is a good idea. I don't know if I would had done it because so many people were obligated to be reallocated, and it will have future impact of the ecology. It is like post-poning the problem for later. But water scarcity is getting pretty important and I imagine at one point they have to try someting to resolve the problem. Will the ecological impacts will be worth it? It's a risk they are ready to take.




It is a very scary thought to know that your city may be running out of water soon. Like you said, we are very fortunate to not have to worry about this problem in present time, but it is a growing issue around the world. You would think in a country like China, something like this would never happen. They are where every thing happens (in the american's eyes). This problem will be very difficult for them to over come, but will the problem ever be solved? There are billions of people in China, and transporting water won't be sufficient forever. Something economically efficient needs to be done, and done as soon as possible.

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