Tag Archives: water resources China

Water Dependencies: Taiwan on China

JhaishanTunnel Kinmen,Taiwan

Taiwan’s Kinmen, a cluster of tiny islands two kilometres (just over a mile) off the coast of China’s Fujian Province,,, is facing a new threat: a water shortage. Officials say that groundwater on its largest island is being depleted. Tourism from the mainland China, which has grown rapidly since 2008…, is putting pressure on its reservoirs…. Kinmen’s water authorities are ready to sign a 30-year agreement with their counterparts in Fujian to buy water from Longhu Lake in Jinjiang city.  Taiwan is to build a submarine pipeline 17km long from Fujian’s coast to Kinmen at a budgeted cost of 1.35 billion Taiwanese dollars ($44m). After 2017, when it is scheduled to be finished, China will eventually provide up to 40% of Kinmen’s water. The signing is expected soon after a meeting on Kinmen on May 23rd between ministers from China and Taiwan, the first such encounter on the islands since the time of Mao.

When Taiwan’s parliament approved the budget for the pipeline in January 2015, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which supports independence, made surprisingly few objections. Only the small, hardline Taiwan Solidarity Union voiced concerns about having such a large share of Kinmen’s water supplied by China. Pragmatists see the deal as the best way to boost Kinmen’s economy: piping water from China is much cheaper than using desalination plants. Taiwanese officials would be allowed to carry out inspections in China, such as testing water in the lake.

The Politics of Water: Peace Pipe, Economist, May 23, 2015, at 32.

Weather Modification in China

A Dry River in China, Image from wikipedia

China aims to induce more than 60 billion cubic metres of additional rain each year by 2020, using an “artificial weather” programme to fight chronic water shortages…China’s water resources are among the world’s lowest, standing at 2,100 cubic metres per person, or just 28 per cent of the world average. Shortages are particularly severe in the country’s northeast and northwest.

China has already allocated funds of 6.51 billion yuan (S$1.45 billion) for artificial weather creation since 2008, the State Council, or cabinet, said in a document setting out the programme from 2014 to 2020. “Weather modification has an important role to play in easing water shortages, reducing natural disasters, protecting ecology and even safeguarding important events,” it added.  The figure of 60 billion cu.m is equivalent to more than one-and-a-half times the volume of the Three Gorges reservoir, part of the world’s largest hydropower plant.

China sets 2020 “artificial weather” target to combat water shortages, Reuters, Jan. 13, 2015