Does Transferring Water Present an Efficient Way of Solving Water Scarcity in China's Northeast?
Markosov, Artem Igorevich
University of Kansas
Global and International Studies, Center for
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Faced by a severe water scarcity, in 2002 the Chinese government initiated the large- scale South-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP), which was estimated at 62 billion U.S. dollars in cost and which presumably would solve China's northeast water scarcity problem. The Eastern Route was finished in December 2013, but the Central and Western routes of the project are yet to be finished. There is not yet sufficient evidence to determine whether the project is going to be successful in dealing with water scarcity of Northeast. Among major reasons for China's acute water scarcity is inefficient water use in agriculture, which wastes 36 percent of all water in China every year. In this research I utilize a Case Study method and look at five existing small -scale water transfer projects: Case 1: Water Transfer between Yiwu and Dongyang in Jinghua river; Case 2: Water Transfer from Zhangye City, Gansu province, to Heihe river; Case 3: Water Transfers in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region; Case 4: Water Transfers in Inner Mongolia; and Case 5: Water transfers between Hebei and Beijing. Using these data I analyze whether the affected areas meet the UN thresholds of water scarcity (1000m3 per person/year) and water stress (1700 m3). The research contributes to the understanding of water scarcity in China and provides an academic analysis that argues in favor of the SNWDP as a partial solution in dealing with China's water scarcity. I propose an argument supporting water transfer as a potential partial solution to the water scarcity.
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