“cd: We’ve seen a lot of public debate over water transfer projects. What role and impacts do regional water transfers have? How should we evaluate all the projects getting under way?
See ”China’s South-North water transfer is ‘irrational’”
XJ: Some of the national-level projects are extremely important for a developing nation.
Unlike many European countries, China’s rainfall is not equally distributed. China needs to figure out how to save the excess water of the flood season and use it in the dry season. In the recent droughts in the south-west, we saw just how lacking drinking water infrastructure is in some places. And even if the infrastructure catches up, there’s still a need to be able to transfer water during a drought.
So the ability to move water around is essential, to distribute the water more evenly. Of course you need to work in coordination, to balance the ecological impact. But you can’t store and transfer water without dams and reservoirs, can you? Lessons have been learned since the US started building dams in the 1960s, and the ecological impact is better understood. The question now is making environmental improvements and shifting attention from construction to overall coordination, to gain benefits from unified management.”
Read more: China Dialogue