Moving the River? China’s South–North Water Transfer Project
The Chinese government has embarked upon an earth engineering project of unprecedented scale to address increasingly worrisome trends in freshwater resources in the northern part of the country. The South-North Water Transfer (nanshui beidiao) project will bring water from the relatively water-rich Yangtze River basin in the south to the relatively water-scarce (and exceedingly over-abstracted) Yellow River basin in the north. The project involves three channels (east, central, and west) of varying length, complexity, ecological and socioeconomic impact, and technical and economic feasibility. In this chapter, I briefly outline the overall situation of China’s freshwater resources and sketch the details of the SNWT project. I then use the newly engineered watersheds as analytical scales for a discussion of potential (and in some cases, extant) socioeconomic, biophysical, and geopolitical impacts from the project.
KeywordsNorth China Plain State Council Gorge Reservoir Yellow River Basin Diversion Tunnel
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