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China plans new water megaprojects to tackle climate change and mitigate the risks of droughts by planning and implementing ambitious water infrastructure projects. The country aims to create a comprehensive “water network” of canals, reservoirs, and storage facilities, enhancing irrigation capabilities, reducing flood and drought risks, and achieving a more balanced water supply distribution by 2035. However, experts have raised concerns about the potential environmental and financial impacts of these projects.
China, known for its uneven water distribution and lower per capita water resources compared to the global average, has historically relied on large-scale infrastructure projects to transport water from flood-prone regions in the south to water-scarce areas in the north. As droughts continue to threaten the country, officials have released plans for new water infrastructure projects to alleviate water scarcity and its associated challenges.
To combat the effects of climate change, the government intends to “unblock the major arteries” of the river system through the construction of canals, reservoirs, and storage facilities. By doing so, China aims to enhance irrigation capabilities, minimize the risks of floods and droughts, and ensure a more equitable distribution of water resources across the nation.
Despite the government’s proposed water infrastructure projects, experts argue that such large-scale diversions may not be the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution. Critics suggest that China should prioritize water conservation and efficiency measures instead of relying solely on engineering solutions.
Mark Wang, a geographer specializing in China’s water infrastructure, emphasizes the importance of reducing water use and increasing efficiency to address the country’s water challenges effectively. He suggests that mega-diversion projects may not be necessary if China focuses on sustainable solutions that promote water conservation and improve efficiency.
Furthermore, concerns are raised regarding the potential vulnerability of southern regions to water supply disruptions and the need for additional infrastructure to address the potential drawbacks of these projects. Environmental impact assessments and careful consideration of the long-term consequences should be undertaken to ensure the feasibility and sustainability of these endeavours.
As the country faces the imminent threat of droughts and strives to mitigate the impact of climate change, China plans new water megaprojects to tackle climate change. The aim is to enhance irrigation, minimize flood and drought risks, and achieve a more balanced distribution of water resources across the country. However, experts caution against the potential environmental and financial implications of these large-scale diversions, advocating for water conservation and efficiency as more sustainable alternatives.
Hence, careful evaluation and consideration of the long-term consequences will be crucial for achieving a resilient and sustainable water management system.
Also Read: 10 Cities That Are Running Out Of Water