Mercury Rising 鳯女

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India-China water wars

Posted by Charles II on December 13, 2008

Sudha Ramachandran, ATimes:

The river in question is the Brahmaputra, which begins in southwestern Tibet where it is known as the Yalong Tsangpo

River. It flows eastwards through southern Tibet for a distance of about 1,600 kilometers and at its easternmost point makes a spectacular U-turn, known as the Shuomatan Point, or the “Great Bend”. This is just before the river enters India, where it is joined by two other major rivers; from this point of confluence it is known as the Brahmaputra. It then snakes into Bangladesh, where it is joined by the Ganges River to create the world’s largest delta before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

It is at the Great Bend that China plans to divert water, in addition to its hydroelectric power project that is expected to generate 40,000 megawatts of power. The diversion of the waters is part of a larger hydro-engineering project, the South-North water diversion scheme, which involves three man-made rivers carrying water from the icy Tibetan plateau to the arid north….

With the Yalong Tsangpo’s waters being diverted, the amount of water in the Brahmaputra will fall significantly, affecting India’s northeast and Bangladesh. It will severely impact agriculture and fishing there as the salinity of water will increase, as will silting in the downstream area.

A shortage of water in the Ganges has already affected the lives and livelihoods of millions in Bangladesh, pushing them to migrate to India, especially to its northeast. This migration of Bangladeshis has changed the demographic composition of vast tracts in the northeast (especially in Assam) and triggered serious ethnic conflicts there. A shortage of water in the Brahmaputra will accentuate these problems to dangerous levels.

3 Responses to “India-China water wars”

  1. I’m wondering when KBR decides to step in and make a few billions off of the misery.

  2. opit said

    Corporations funded the debacle. Waiting is not in their nature.
    If you don’t want to view the pdf directly, Firefox has a viewer available.
    I risked it, but am using Linux – which doesn’t have nearly as many vulnerabilities as Windows.
    http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/3601

  3. […] IndialtbgtChinaltbgt water wars Mercury Rising(01 January 2009) It is at the Great Bend that ltbgtChinaltbgt plans to divert water, in addition to its hydroelectric power project that is expected to generate 40000 … […]

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