Category: Beijing Water

The Yangtze runs dry

(August 18, 2011) “The Yangtze River will run dry” because engineers have gone wild, building so many dams that the amount of water needed to fill all the reservoirs along the Yangtze would exceed the flow of the river. So says “A Mighty River Runs Dry,” a new study by geologist Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau in China. Because there isn’t enough water in the Yangtze to fill all the dams to their designed capacity during the impoundment period each year, “an enormous waste of money” will result, with potentially staggering losses to China’s economy, 40 per cent of which comes from agriculture, fishing, industry and shipping along the Yangtze.

Zhanghe

(June 8, 2011) A brief reminiscence of a once free-flowing and bountiful river from the author’s youth is now a tragedy writ large: a microcosm of the woes – many of which are preventable – that currently beset China’s waterways.

Fengtai Sinkhole Sparks Worries of Future Catastrophes

(May 19, 2011) Beijing’s Fengtai District grabbed headlines in April when the ground beneath Shiliuzhuang Lu opened up suddenly and swallowed a passing truck. This isn’t the first time sinkholes have appeared in the capital. In 2007, and again in 2009, sinkholes opened up near Dawang Bridge in the CBD, leaving residents to wonder if the great Fengtai sinkhole of 2011 might not be the last time the capital’s ground drops out from under it.

Beijing off the deep end

(May 6, 2011) Beijing really is trying to turn its water dilemma around. This Circle of Blue – Reporting the Global Water Crisis spotlight looks at what action the city’s municipal government is taking to reverse the capital’s water crunch but finds, in spite of acting with speed and authority, current measures are not fast or strong enough. Zhang Junfeng, a Beijing-based engineer and environmental activist, who has been researching Beijing’s water crisis for years, tells Circle of Blue the government still doesn’t clearly recognize the true extent of its problem and seems to think that as long as the country’s GDP is growing, the capital “can just buy the water” it needs. Not realizing that without water, hoped-for growth will falter.