The Chinese government has laid out a plan to use water from Tibet to replenish water levels in the Yellow River. The long-discussed plan to harness rivers cascading from the Tibetan highlands to quench Qinghai and other undeveloped western parts of China has growing official momentum, with construction possibly starting as early as 2010.
The so-called Western Route of China’s South-North Water Transfer Project would cost 300 billion yuan at current prices, and the total cost of the whole South-North project is 500 billion yuan. Environmentalists and some experts urged authorities to fully consider the economic efficiency and environmental impact before stating the project. They warned the project threatens to tear the region’s web of environmental and cultural inter-dependence.