Paper No. JAWRA-08-0183-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.
The South-to-North Water Transfer Project of China: Environmental Implications and Monitoring Strategy1
Article first published online: 28 AUG 2009
© 2009 American Water Resources Association
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 45, Issue 5, pages 1238–1247, October 2009
How to Cite
Zhang, Q. (2009), The South-to-North Water Transfer Project of China: Environmental Implications and Monitoring Strategy. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 45: 1238–1247. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2009.00357.x
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 28 AUG 2009
- Received September 29, 2008; accepted June 1, 2009.
- water resources;
- inter-basin water transfer;
- environmental impacts;
- environmental monitoring
Abstract: In 2002, China launched the South-to-North Water Transfer Project after completing a 50-year feasibility study. By 2050, the three-route (i.e., East, Middle, and West) project will be capable of transferring 44.8 billion m3/year of water from the water rich Yangtze River to the arid north to alleviate water shortage and help secure a balanced social and economic development across the nation. However, diversion of such a large quantity of water could profoundly change the riverine environment of the upper Yellow River and the lower reach of the Han River, a tributary of the Yangtze River and the water supplying area of the project’s Middle Route, because of changes in the annual discharge. Secondary salinization seems inevitable in the water receiving areas of the North China Plain, and decrease in the discharge of the Yangtze River will result in seawater intrusion into the Yangtze Delta. This paper describes the project and discusses its environmental implications. Additionally, a long-term monitoring strategy under the umbrella of the Chinese Ecological Research Network is proposed for environmental monitoring.