Locations of Lake Baikal and Lanzhou, China. China is reportedly considering plans to build a 1,000km (620 mile) pipeline to pump water all the way from Siberia to its drought-stricken northwest. Graphic: Global Times

By Tom Phillips; additional reporting by Wang Zhen
7 March 2017

Beijing (The Guardian) – China is reportedly considering plans to build a 1,000km (620 mile) pipeline to pump water all the way from Siberia to its drought-stricken northwest.

According to reports in the Chinese media, urban planners in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, have drawn up proposals to pipe water into the chronically parched region from Russia’s Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake on earth. […]

In a report this week the state-run Global Times said the pipeline would quench the “desperate thirst” of a province that saw just 380mm of rain last year.

It would begin at the southwestern tip of the 600km-long Russian lake and run about 1,000km, across Mongolia, to Gansu’s capital through the Hexi corridor, a desert region near the westernmost tip of the Great Wall of China.

The project would boost both Gansu’s “ecological environment” and its economy which the newspaper said had been severely hampered by the lack of water.

The drastic plan underscores the severity of the water crisis facing Beijing. [more]

'Parched' Chinese city plans to pump water from Russian lake via 1,000km pipeline

By Zhang Yu
6 March 2017

(Global Times) – China is no stranger to massive engineering projects, and the most recent addition to its roster of landscape-reshaping solutions is a recent plan by a city-level institute to divert water from Siberia hundreds of kilometers south to Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu Province, to quench the region's desperate thirst.

The Lanzhou Urban & Rural Planning and Design Institute, affiliated to Lanzhou's urban planning authorities, has proposed diverting water from Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, to relieve Lanzhou's water crisis, according to a scheme entitled "Vision for Urban Planning 2030" which was released in February.

According to the scheme, a pipeline starting from the southwest point of Lake Baikal, stretching some 1,000 kilometers, will be able to divert pure water from the deepest lake in the world to Lanzhou through the Hexi corridor, a narrow east-west route that runs for 1,000 kilometers between the Tibetan Plateau and the dunes of the Gobi Desert, the Xinhua News Agency reported. […]

The Russian media, so far, has remained silent on the Lanzhou institute's proposal. But last year, when the Russian agriculture minister proposed similar plans to transfer water from Russia's Altai Republic to Xinjiang, it received criticism from environmentalists.

"To declare the global plans about the transfer of fresh water to China, without detailed calculations, is total folly," Viktor Danilov-Danilyan, an economist, environmentalist and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the Siberian Times, a Russian newspaper.  [more]

Lanzhou govt resurrects plans to divert water from Siberia to China’s arid northwest



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