The Thirsty Dragon: Reviving the Yongding River

Via China Dialogue, a photo essay detailing the controversial restoration of the Yongding River, Beijing’s “mother river”.

Beijing is running out of water. Water levels in the city have plunged to 100 cubic metres per person, far below the international warning level, while Beijing’s two major reservoirs are now less than a tenth full.

Once known as Beijing’s “mother river”, the Yongding River has been dry for over a decade: a victim of low rainfall and overexploitation for industrial development.

But in the last few months, the Yongding River has begun to flow again. Beijing’s government is spending 16 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion) on restoring the dried-out riverbed, filling it with water and creating parkland along the riverside.

Government officials say the project aims to benefit the local environment. But environmentalists argue the river is being restored for the sake of economic development in districts bordering the river, adding to the pressure on Beijing’s water reserves.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 2:13 pm and is filed under China.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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