Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Death of the Yang Tze
Asia biggest river, the Yang Tze, is dry. The 400 million people that depend on it have a difficult time ahead. Rainfall has halved probably as consequence of permanent climate change. Last week the state council – China's cabinet – acknowledged that Three Gorges faces "urgent problems" ordering energy generation to be stopped and the water supplied for consumption. Also the gigantic south-north water diversion project, which aims to tap the normally moist Yangtze basin to supply arid northern cities like Beijing, is being called into question.
When in China, I told my friends that the Chinese tried to solve their water supply problems by massive civil works, which they have been doing from the early imperial times. They are good at mobilizing massive manpower and building canals and long walls. But the solution was (1) recycling wastewater, (2) desalination and (3) campaign to save water in the cities and in the farms. Irrigation systems have to be improved. May be I should contact my friends in China for a consulting trip. (What is with me? My place is with Kever Benjamin City's "jubilados" who spend the morning conferencing in the Rothschild St. cafeteria).