JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 893-898.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20180429

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The Query: The Feasibility of the Water Diversion Function of “Hongqi River”

YANG Qin-ye1, JING Ke1, XU Jian-hui2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. China Science Daily, Beijing 100864, China
  • Received:2018-04-19 Revised:2018-04-23 Online:2018-05-20 Published:2018-05-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41530749.

Abstract: It is reported that the basic goal of the “Hongqi River” Project (also known as “Red Flag River” Project) is to improve the ecological and environmental conditions of dry areas in the Northwest China by transfering water from the Yarlung Zangbo River, the Nu River, the Lancang River, the Jinsha River, the Yalong River and the Dadu River in the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau, to Xinjiang and other arid areas. By this way, 200 million mu (around 13.33×104 km2) of farmland and oasis could be developed in the dry areas.“Hongqi River” Project is a grand idea of water diversion across river basins, which has attracted wide attention at home and abroad. However, this grand idea also faces multiple severe challenges in the fields of geology, technology, economy, society and ecology, and there is a great uncertainty.From the perspective of physical geography, natural resources and environment and regional development, 60 billion m3 of water cannot meet the needs of the construction of 200 million mu of farmland, nor can it meet the needs of the ecological green belt of 15×104 km2, and the two cannot be realized at the same time. In addition, how much water can reach the receiving area when there is strong leakage and evaporation along the river? The project is planned to be built for 10 years, with investment of 4 trillion yuan. The investment of farmland irrigation per mu is around 2×104 yuan, and the water charge per cubic meter is nearly 66 yuan. Who will pay for the expensive water bill when the project is completed and running?The environmental impacts and ecological consequences caused by water diversion are of great uncertainty and need to be highly concerned. The water diversion project is not only a complex water conservancy project, but also a very complex ecosystem engineering, and a very complicated social and economic project. Environmental effects, ecological consequences and socioeconomic effects involve complex geophysical, chemical and biological processes, as well as the complex process of harmonious balance between human and earth relations. The “Hongqi River” Project involves international rivers at the same time. The potential geopolitical risks need to be drawn attention. At the existing level of understanding, it is necessary to make a thorough and systematic study of these problems.In addition, in the public awareness of “Hongqi River”, there are still several views that are contrary to scientific cognition, such as “changing the climate pattern of China”, “forest causing precipitation”, and breaking the “Hu Huanyong Line”. The analysis and clarification for these misunderstandings are carried out in the paper.

Key words: ecological consequence, environmental effect, natural law, socioeconomic effect, water diversion of "Hongqi River"

CLC Number: 

  • TV213.4