Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

China's water at risk from coal projects
by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Aug 14, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The 16 large-scale coal bases that China has planned will trigger severe water crises in the country's arid northwest, a new Greenpeace report warns.

China plans to construct the bases before 2015, as part of its latest 5-year plan, which runs through 2015.

If completed, the projects will consume at least 9.975 billion cubic meters of water, says the report "Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated" commissioned by Greenpeace and conducted by the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

That's equivalent to about one-sixth of the yearly total water volume of China's Yellow River.

An earlier CAS report indicated that two-thirds of China's 669 cities have water shortages, more than 40 percent of its rivers are severely polluted and 80 percent of its lakes suffer from eutrophication, which is an overabundance of nutrients.

Furthermore, about 300 million rural residents lack access to safe drinking water.

While China's per capita availability of renewable water resources is about one-quarter of the world average, water consumption per unit of gross domestic product is three times the world average because of water-intensive industrial structure, outdated technologies, low reuse rate and wastefulness, the CAS report says.

The Greenpeace study says that water resources per capita and per unit area in the planned 16 areas are only one tenth of the national average.

"The truth is, in this part of the country, even a single drop of water is too precious to be squandered. China is basically trading water rights of millions for energy," Li Yan, Greenpeace East Asia Climate and Energy Campaign Manager, said in a statement.

Although China aims to increase its share of electricity generation from renewable sources, the country still relies on coal for about 70 percent of its energy needs.

Seven of the planned bases, which are situated in Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Ningxia, for example, are expected to have a total output of 2.2 billion tons of coal, contributing 56 percent of China's annual coal output for 2015, China's 5-year plan says.

"Two years into the 5-year plan, it's time to rethink the pros and cons of this westward coal expansion and acknowledge the profoundly painful heritage they will leave: huge carbon emissions, horrible air pollution, and now, a grim future for vast arid areas," Li said.

In the report, Greenpeace calls for the Chinese government "to immediately carry out a strict and robust water-demand assessment on China's coal power bases and their overall environment impact on the respective regions."


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Bill Gates kicks off search for toilet of the future
San Francisco (AFP) Aug 14, 2012
Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries. The charitable foundation founded by Gates and his wife kicked off a "Reinvent the Toilet Fair" in Seattle and awarded prizes for promising innovations. "Toilets are extremely important for public health and, when you think of it, even human di ... read more

Fukushima caused mutant butterflies: scientists

Fukushima caused mutant butterflies: scientists

Retreat never an option: ex-Fukushima chief

Urban disasters spotlight strain on Asian cities

Tablet line aimed at retail staff

SciTechTalk: Are PCs desktop dinosaurs?

Wired reporter hack reveals perils of digital age

Latin America poised for a lithium boom

China's water at risk from coal projects

Bill Gates kicks off search for toilet of the future

Brazil court orders work on Amazon dam suspended

El Nino may be under way: Japan weather agency

Melting ice opens Northwest Passage

Tropical climate in the Antarctic

Aerial photos reveal dynamic ice sheet

Russian icebreaker sets out for expedition

Rooftop farms flourish in space-starved Hong Kong

New technology eliminates plant toxins

Researchers Demonstrate Control of Devastating Cassava Virus in Africa

Hong Kong tests babies over Japanese milk formula

Flooding in central Nigeria kills at least 28 people

Iran pair rescued from quakes after three days: reports

Philippines storm brings more floods, landslides

NASA Global Hawk Pilots Face Challenges Flying Hurricane Missions

Eight Ugandans survive army helicopter crash; two dead

'Very little' done on Mali military action: defence minister

CCTV: Africa's true image or China's strategic vehicle?

Nigeria's Boko Haram now political issue

Early human ancestors had more variable diet

Researchers develop new physical face cloning method

It's in our genes: Why women outlive men

Later Stone Age got earlier start in South Africa than thought

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement