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A hand on the tap that supplies half of mankind

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  • Dak Bangla
    [The Tibetan superdam : The Yalungzangbo River in Tibet becomes the Brahmaputra and Yamuna downstream, on which hundreds of millions of people in Bangladesh
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1 1:52 AM
      [The Tibetan "superdam": The Yalungzangbo River in Tibet becomes the
      Brahmaputra and Yamuna downstream, on which hundreds of millions of people
      in Bangladesh and eastern India depend. Chinese engineers are considering a
      dam in the Great Yalungzangbo Canyon, the world's deepest, where the river
      drops 2340 metres. Installed capacity could be 38000 megawatts, more than
      twice that of the Three Gorges, and allow China to influence electricity
      markets in South Asia. Hamish McDonald ]

      The Age
      May 31 2003
      Beijing

      Past and present conflicts have been about oil and other raw materials, but
      future strategy may be based on the control of water. China effectively has
      its hand on the tap that supplies half of the world's population.

      As big as it is, the Three Gorges Dam is only part of a gigantic scheme to
      exploit the rivers flowing from China's Tibetan plateau, on which 47 per
      cent of the world depends. The main components are:

      � South-North Water Diversion: In December, Beijing launched construction of
      three routes to take 45 million cubic feet of water from the Yangtze 1300
      kilometres north to the basin of the Yellow River, now so silted and
      depleted it regularly stops flowing. Residents of Beijing will get their
      first taste of Yangtze water from their taps in 2007. But critics say the
      Yangtze itself is shrinking as Tibetan glaciers recede; siphoning off its
      water could enable salt water to invade its lower reaches.

      � More dams on the Yangtze: These include the Shuibuya Dam, a 235-metre-high
      dam on the Qing River, a tributary of the Yangtze downstream from the Three
      Gorges Dam. To be completed in 2009, it will generate 1600 megawatts. The
      Xiluodu dam, 800 kilometres upstream from the Three Gorges, will be 273
      metres high and generate 12000 megawatts. The Xiangjiaba dam, just
      downstream, will be 161 metres high and generate 6000 megawatts.

      � The Mekong (known in China as the Lancang): The Lancang Cascade will be a
      series of eight dams built along a 750-kilometre stretch of this river.
      Construction started in 1986. The dams may sell power and water to Burma,
      Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. But the effect on water levels and nutrients
      downstream is unclear.

      � The Tibetan "superdam": The Yalungzangbo River in Tibet becomes the
      Brahmaputra and Yamuna downstream, on which hundreds of millions of people
      in Bangladesh and eastern India depend. Chinese engineers are considering a
      dam in the Great Yalungzangbo Canyon, the world's deepest, where the river
      drops 2340 metres. Installed capacity could be 38000 megawatts, more than
      twice that of the Three Gorges, and allow China to influence electricity
      markets in South Asia. Hamish McDonald

      Source: Gavan McCormack, Water Margins: Competing Paradigms in China,
      Critical Asian Studies, 33:1 (2001).

      Source:[http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/05/30/1054177725301.html%5d

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