Saturday, November 19, 2011
Brahmapura-Tsangpo Water Diversion Project
China's agricultural potential is in the almost empty West China, and the only problem is water. The irrigation of these vast area would more than double China's agricultural lands and production, solving the overconcentration of its population in the Pacific seabord.
On the other hand, China's rivers are drying up and the water supply to its cities is in danger. Tientsin and Beijing are being supplied partly by overpumping of aquifers, which is unsustainable.
The solution is to bring water from the mountains. China has traditionally solved its geopolitical problems by gigantic public works, and that is what I think is going to do in the next decades.
There is untapped water resources in the Tibetan Plateau, consisting in many rivers and lakes. But the most attractive project is the damming of the Brahmaputra-Tsangpo river at the Great Bend (pic) for electricity production, and the channeling of its flow towards the NorthWest instead its "natural" course towards the South East. These civil engineering works face tremendous problems in the frozen Himalaya highlands without roads or communications. Yet the Chinese, throughout their long history, have demonstrated their superb ability specifically in this kind of projects. In my opinion, the Chinese love mobilizing tens of millions in building grandiose projects. This is the kind of bombastic project they would die to have.
Of course, the water gained by China will be on account of India and Bangladesh. India is so nervious about the mere mention of projects regarding the upper Brahmaputra that the Chinese government maintains a demostrative lack of interest in them. I dont know if it is because of censure or what, but the Chinese are not talking about it.
Yet it is there all the time.