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Experts: Water diversion from Bohai to Xinjiang unfeasible
Updated: 2010-11-16 20:52

BEIJING - A proposal to divert water from the Bohai Sea on China's eastern coast to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the far west to fight deserts and sandstorms is "unfeasible" and an "illusion," water resources scientists and experts said Tuesday.

They made the remarks while responding to questions at a press conference in Beijing concerning a study on Xinjiang's water strategy and sustainable development.

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Shi Yulin, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a research fellow at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the salt contained in the huge amount of diverted sea water could further encrust the saline land in Xinjiang.

Li Zechun, an academician at Chinese Academy of Engineering, and former director of National Climate Center, said the sea water could not produce sufficient vapor to create enough rainfall to affect the climate in northwestern regions.

Ning Yuan, former deputy director and research fellow of the South-North Water Diversion Project Commission (SNWDPC) of the State Council, said the Bohai Sea was 5,000 km from Xinjiang, five times the distance of the South-North Water Diversion from Danjiangkou, in central Hubei Province, to Beijing.

That meant the laying of a pipeline, the huge cost of the project, and the water distribution were all problems "beyond imagination," Ning said.

In a widely reported meeting on November 5 in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, researchers and local government officials discussed the proposal to divert water from east China to the west.

According to the proposal, the huge amount of sea water, if diverted to the west, could form man-made lakes and rivers and serve as vapor source to create more rainfall to contain the threat of desertification in north and northwest China.

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