Pro Tips To Choose Wastewater Treatment Technology

China is planning large-scale water infrastructure projects to mitigate the effects of climate change, but officials have issued warnings about the expense of river diversions.

Pro Tips To Choose Wastewater Treatment Technology

China is planning large-scale water infrastructure projects to mitigate the effects of climate change, but officials have issued warnings about the expense of river diversions. To improve irrigation and lessen the risk of floods and droughts, officials announced plans to construct a national “water network” of canals, reservoirs, and storage facilities.

The National Water Network plan, according to Minister of Water Resources Li Guoying, would “unblock the major arteries” of the river system by 2035, improving the state’s capacity to balance the distribution of its water supply.

However, experts claim that this National Water Network plan, is not only expensive and environmentally damaging, but it also runs the risk of making southern regions more susceptible to supply disruptions and necessitating the construction of additional infrastructure.

Mark Wang, a geographer at Melbourne University who focuses on the impact of China’s water infrastructure, said that what the country has been doing up to this point is using engineering solutions to try to physically supply water and solve their water problem. Mega-diversion projects are not necessary if China can reduce water use and improve efficiency.

A request for comment was not answered by China’s Ministry of Water Resources.

Despite the fact that this year’s drought is not anticipated to be as severe as last year’s, when months of extreme heat dried up large portions of the Yangtze basin, state forecasters warn that central and southwestern China may still experience problems.

A water company in Liangshan County, Sichuan province, advised residents not to take showers more frequently than four times per month. Other parts of the southwest have already implemented special measures.

China has significantly less water per person than the average country worldwide, and it is distributed unevenly. In order to transport water from the flood-prone south to the dry north and find engineering solutions to its ongoing supply issues, it has long relied on large-scale infrastructure.

There are some measures in place to reduce demand. The use of water has been reduced, wastewater recycling has been improved, and pollution has been addressed by local governments.

Wang added that over the previous five years, China has also started more than 100 diversion projects.

In 2021, China invested 1.1 trillion yuan ($154 billion) in fixed water assets, a 44% increase from 2021. It increased by 15.6% to 407 billion yuan in 2023, and additional funding is anticipated. The new strategy includes the South-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP), which transfers extra Yangtze River water to the dry Yellow River basin.

According to the government, the project has “optimised” China’s water supplies and diverted more than 60 billion cubic metres of water.

However, because water only flows in one direction, as the project’s name suggests, it was unable to assist during the droughts of the previous year.

Experts worry that China will only move shortages if it relies on more large-scale projects. Megaprojects like the SNWDP and the Three Gorges Dam, according to Wang of Melbourne University, have set off a “chain reaction” of unanticipated effects that will cost billions of yuan in new infrastructure to correct.

For instance, water downstream on the Han River has run out due to the water being transferred to the north via the Danjiangkou reservoir, forcing authorities to propose a new 60 billion yuan project to link Danjiangkou with the Three Gorges reservoir.

Record-low water levels in Poyang Lake have been attributed to Three Gorges, which holds 40 billion cubic metres of Yangtze water for power generation and flood control. Authorities are considering plans for a new sluice gate to solve the issue, but opponents claim it will destroy nearby habitats.

A project to divert water from Tibet to northwest China has also been proposed by China, alarming India and other nations that depend on rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Mekong.

Wang suggested that different strategies emphasising wastewater recycling, desalination, or demand reduction might be more successful.

According to him, efficiency could be found by switching crops or using alternative irrigation techniques because China uses about 60% of its water resources for agriculture.

I’m not entirely opposed to some engineering solutions, Wang said, provided they are practical and have a minimal negative impact on the local environment. “But the size, scope, and impact are enormous… The point is made if you put the same amount of effort into the demand side and get a better result.