China Is Damned

And that is meant in more ways than one. China is literally the most damned country in the world due to water diversion. An estimated 550 million + people do not have enough water, and four hundred of China's 600 cities live with water shortages. This is due to overpopulation, pollution, and government incompetence. The brunt of the crisis is being felt in Northern China. Rivers are running dry and lakes are parched bowls of earth.

China's lack of water is actually a more serious threat to its economy, environment, and society than flooding. Water scarcity ruins more crops each year, an estimated 66 million tons or 17 percent of China's annual harvest than floods according to China's minister of water resources.

The Yellow River, the cradle of Chinese civilization, was once called "China's sorrow" because of its high waters that caused destruction. However, for the last twenty years it has been running dry every year. Water shortages also have sparked political battles among provinces along the Yellow River that are supposed to share the water.

Since its revolution in 1949, China's population has jumped by 700 million people, with little room to expand since massive desertification and mountain ranges keep people from moving. So most of the people are concentrated on farmland flanking China's rivers from the Yangtze River in the south to the Yellow River in the north. It is no wonder that their rivers are polluted and undrinkable, and now due to excessive heat brought on by climate change, drying up.

It is also estimated that China's population will jump to 1.6 billion in 2030 with per capita water demand rising with the standard of living. Flush toilets, showers, and washing machines are now standard in households which was not the case twenty years ago. Chinese are also eating more meat, whose production requires large amounts of water for crops used to feed livestock. And also, China's consumption of oil is rising due to more cars on the road which contributes to the behavior causing climate change. Again, China is damning themselves in more ways than one and is the clearest example of how NOT to run a government.

China's biggest water users are farmers, and the metric tons of water they use for irrigation are expected to rise to 665 billion by 2030. China's industries will also use five times as much water by 2030 as they do today. That is where the damns come in, and they are controversial.

The Death Of China's Rivers

This is an excellent article about the water problems facing China. The next entry will focus on dams, specifically the Three Gorges Dam.

In China, City of 4 Million, No Water

This article is about the chemical plant explosion that occurred in November of last year that spilled benzene into a local river that people count on for their water supply. This is one the worst problems facing China. There is nowhere for the population to expand, and near rivers is where these plants are as well. Severe pollution caused by these rivers effects public health and the environment, and it is the water these people use to drink and live.
This is an absolute global disgrace.