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Global Water Resources Development - Experience From China - Assignment Example

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Global Water Resources Development - Experience from China The South-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP) The idea of the SNWTP was conceived during the beginning of 1950s by the Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong for transferring water from the Yangtze Kiang river in eastern China to the northern plains…
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Download file to see previous pages During the late 1970’s China implemented widespread economic reforms throughout the nation. As a result, the country’s economy grew remarkably which in turn increased the national wealth. Thus, China accumulated the financial resources necessary to implement the SNWTP. (Yang and Zehnder, 2005, p.1) The northern part of China comprises of a fertile flat plain similar to that of France and Ukraine which is ideal for farming. However, this part of the country is devoid of adequate water resources. Though the Yellow, Huihe and the Haihe rivers flow through north China, these river basins are too dry for the growing of produce. In contrast, southern China has abundant sources of water but is not suitable for extensive agriculture because of its hilly terrain. Therefore, it was essential to conceive the SNWTP which provided a solution to this problem. The project is supposed to link the four main Chinese rivers – the Yangtze Kiang, the Yellow River, the Huaihe and the Haihe through three diversion routes stretching from the southern to the northern part of China across the eastern, western and central parts of the country. The SNWTP is an ambitious project which is being constructed with the help of advanced engineering techniques. (Changming, 2009) Environmental Effects on Regional Ecology and Society Once the first stage of the SNWTP is fully implemented, it is expected to channelize 40-50 km3 water annually from the river Yangtze-Kiang basin in southern China to the northern plains. This will partially address the water scarcity faced by about 300-325 million people residing in north China. However, this will not be adequate to satisfy the water requirement of the entire region. According to a study by the World Bank on the SNWTP, the project would involve the shifting of 300,000 Chinese citizens to the northern plains which is expected to incur a series of economic costs. The report also indicates that the SNWTP is likely to deprive the inhabitants of the Han sub basin, of their essential water supplies. (Berkoff, 2003 p.1) The SNWTP is expected to provide a solution to the dual problems of floods in southern China and drought in the north China by transferring the excess water from the south to the north. The project will involve the construction of three canals linking the Yangtze Kiang river in south China to the basins of the Yellow, Hu ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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