Mass Resettlements Start To Irrigate North China

Plans to bring water to the arid drought-plagued North China Plain and its fast-growing cities like Beijing and Tianjin, are typically sweeping. Just as typically, they involve the mass resettlement of a third of a million people.

The plans call for drawing water off three western and southern rivers through a series of canals and pipes. The three parallel projects, once completed, will cost an estimated $62 billion, more than the Three Gorges hydroelectric dam, and, like the dam are raising a environmental and human issues. In addition there are concerns that the diverted water will be too expensive to use for farming, though the plain is China’s bread basket.

Residents in Hubei and Henan provinces have just started to be moved, Xinhua reports, so sluices can be built at the Danjiangkou reservoir to divert water from the Yangtze into the so-called north-south route, on which construction started in 2002. Although a quarter of the scale of the Three Gorges forced resettlements, these latest relocations will take until 2011 to complete and are already raising complaints from residents that they are not getting the resettlement terms they were promised.

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Filed under Environment, Politics & Society

One response to “Mass Resettlements Start To Irrigate North China

  1. Pingback: New Wells Alone Insufficient To Solve North China Plain’s Old Problem | China Bystander

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