Home / Environment / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Nation won't divert Yarlung Tsangpo River to thirsty north
Adjust font size:

China doesn't plan to supply its thirsty north with water from world's highest river, which originates in Tibet, China's former water chief said Monday.

"The Chinese government has no plan to divert the Yarlung Zangbo River to the Yellow River," former water minister Wang Shucheng told a water resources seminar. The river is also known as the Tsangpo River.

With an average altitude of 4,500 meters, the Yarlung Zangbo River is the highest in the world. It originates in glacial regions of the northern Himalayas, runs 2,057 kilometers through Tibet in western China, passes into India and finally meets the Indian Ocean in the Bay of Bengal.

Wang rejected including the Yarlung Zangbo River in the western route of China's south-to-north water diversion project, designed to shift water from the water-rich south of the country, mainly the Yangtze, the country's longest river, to the dry north including Beijing.

"It is unnecessary, infeasible and unscientific to include the Yarlung Zangbo River in the western route of the massive project," Wang told an audience of 100 officials and scholars from 10 countries, including former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

The seminar was co-organized by the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, a non-governmental think tank, and the Hong Kong-based Michael Eric Bosman Hotung Foundation, a non-profit organization.

The south-north project, the largest such project ever undertaken, consists of eastern, central and western routes. The eastern and central routes are already under construction, while the western route, meant to replenish the Yellow River with water from the upper reaches of the Yangtze through aqueducts in the high mountains of western China, is still at the planning stage.

"The Yangtze, with annual capacity of 1 trillion cubic meters of water, is abundant enough to deal with the ecological, economic and social demand for water along the Yellow River," Wang said.

"The 10 billion cubic meters annually from the Yangtze will generate significant improvements for the Yellow River while having almost no impact on the longest river," Wang said.

As for a proposal to diverting 200 billion cubic meters annually from the Yarlung Zangbo River to the Yellow River, Wang said such volumes would damage many dams and embankments along the latter river.

Wang dismissed another suggestion that water diverted from the highest river be channeled into Qinghai Lake, the country's biggest saline lake. "Mixing fresh water with saline will cause serious chemical changes," Wang said.

Planned for completion in 2050, the south-north water project will eventually divert 44.8 billion cubic meters of water annually to the population centers of the drier north.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name

China Archives
Related >>
- 330,000 residents to move for water diversion project
- China builds world's longest water diversion tunnel
- Work starts on Yangtze dam
- Yangtze River water to supply Beijing in 2014
- China to speed up south-to-north water diversion project
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- The Eco Design Fair 2009
- Environmental English Training (EET) class
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
Sichuan Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Sichuan Province at 2:28 PM on May 12.

Panda Facts
A record 28 panda cubs born via artificial insemination have survived in 2006.
South China Karst
Rich and unique karst landforms located in south China display exceptional natural beauty.
Saving the Tibetan Antelopes
The rare animals survive in the harsh natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Laws & Regulations
- Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China
- Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China
- Fire Control Law of the People's Republic of China
- Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters
- Law of the People's Republic of China on Conserving Energy
State Environmental Protection Administration
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Land and Resources
China Environmental Industry Network
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base