“Most difficult” water plan for China

China is to embark on a water-diversion plan that it calls the most difficult in history, bringing water to nearly half a million people in drought-prone mountains of the south-west and irrigating hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland in Guizhou province, according to state media.


The "unthinkable" hydro scheme would include a curved, 63-kilometre canal and a 162.5-metre dam, diverting water to the central part of the province, China National Radio said on its website (www.cnr.cn). "The project will provide drinking water to 418,000 people as well as irrigate 651,400 acres [about 265,000 hectares] of farmland," the report said.


"The difficulties in the canal’s construction, such as the curved design, the huge dam and a series of long aqueducts and tunnels in geologically complicated areas make the project the most difficult," the report continued. It described the project as the "the most difficult hydro works in history."


China’s Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydro-electric power project in the world, has a dam wall 2,309 metres long and forms a 660-kilometre-long reservoir on the Yangtze River in Hubei province. The Guizhou project has a modest budget of 6.2 billion yuan (US$907 million), compared to the Three Gorges expenditure of over US$20 billion, the Xinhua news agency said.


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