China’s ambitious South-to-North Water Diversion project officially begins flowing next month and the impacts of the costly geo-engineering giant are starting to be felt in the regions tapped to redistribute water to the country’s parched north. “This project from the beginning has been as controversial as the Three Gorges,” says Probe International fellow and leading Chinese environmental journalist, Dai Qing.
China is so bad at conservation that it had to launch the most impressive water-pipeline project ever
(March 17, 2014) Reporter Lily Kuo takes an in-depth look at China’s South-to-North Water Diversion project — the world’s largest water diversion conceived originally by Mao Zedong as a way to relieve North China’s dwindling water resources by “borrowing” from the south of the country. But not even the project’s leaders are pretending the mammoth, ultra-complex, $80-billion scheme will solve China’s water problem. Moreover, it has already created extra problems. Kuo concludes the project is another example of an engineer-dominated government’s fondness for huge-scale vanity projects with a particular weakness for mega-water works. No wonder. Without the man-made institutions — a robust regulatory regime and the rule of law — the Chinese government is bereft of tools to induce the efficient use (and conservation) of water. And so it builds canals and moves water from one watershed to another, creating havoc and perpetuating the problem of China’s crippling water crisis.
(March 17, 2014) Part two of Lily Kuo’s substantial overview of China’s South-to-North Water Diversion project (SNWDP) and its resettlement process. Kuo notes that since 1949, more than 45 million Chinese have been displaced by infrastructure projects and, of those, 12 million have been moved for water schemes. The water projects, she notes, have a particularly depressing record in terms of outcomes for the resettled. Although there are signs, she says, of villagers moved for the SNWDP receiving better care than those in the past, the same old resettlement problems abound. Worst of all, there are no farms to tend and jobs to do. “This isn’t a life,” says one migrant of the soul-destroying joblessness. “In the morning, you see everyone sleeps in. In the afternoon, they play cards. That’s it.”
China’s plan to invest more than 64 billion yuan ($10.13 billion) in the country’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project this year, will push the total investment to date over the 200 billion yuan mark (more than $30 billion).
(May 5, 2011) Beijing’s water shortage is one of the main factors thwarting the region’s sustainable economic growth, say bankers who have joined environmentalists in sounding the alarm over the city’s “chronic water deficit.”
(March 28, 2011) A new study warns that plans to raise the Danjiangkou Dam could lead to earthquakes of greater than 4.0 on the Richter Scale. Experts say the dam triggered an earthquake of M 4.7 in 1973.
Probe International Exclusive: Forced resettlements at Danjiangkou dam turn ugly as massive water diversion for Beijing gets underway
(December 9, 2010) Probe International researcher and a Chinese social scientist, Yang Chongqing interviews migrants from the Danjiangkou dam reservoir in Hubei Province and finds many of the problems that plagued earlier resettlement programs are being repeated.
(January 29, 2006) A cancer cluster that has been linked to water pollution in a village downstream of the Danjiangkou dam in Hubei province highlights the human misery caused by China’s poisoned rivers.