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Water Diversion in China (and America)

Water: the precious resource that is so often either in short supply or over supply and not where it is needed most. This is as true in China as it is in America (and all over the world).


Taocha Canal Head Works Project (

China has a tradition of grand, water infrastructure projects. The north-south Grand Canal was first linked up more than 1,400 years ago to facilitate commerce, government and military transport, and connections up and down China. Trying to tame the mighty Yellow River has been on the agenda since the legendary Yu the Great first brought China’s Sorrow to heel 4,200 years ago. The Three Gorges Dam in southern China came to full capacity in 2012 to generate electricity and try to tame the Yangtze River.

So news of the planned next phase of China’s ambitious South-to-North Water Diversion Project should not surprise. The 1,400 km-long Yinjiangbuhan Tunnel will be a combination of open canal and tunnel up to 1,000 meters below the ground surface. The project will channel water from the Three Gorges Dam in water-plentiful Hubei Province up to the Han River and points beyond in order to bring water to parched areas north and east. Moving water once again on a grand scale.


Navajo Canyon-Lake Powell (

Coincidentally, there are Americans with similar grand ideas about water transport on this side of the Pacific Ocean. They are calling for studies to be conducted as to the feasibility of diverting water 1,400 miles from east to west. Utilizing existing and new infrastructure, including some serious pumps, plentiful Mississippi River water in the east might be channeled and transported west. This water would replenish (and hopefully save) the Colorado River, Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Arizona, and California in the parched American Southwest as well as generate electricity.

Maybe our two countries could collaborate on such efforts.


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