BERLIN – The severe drought now ravaging Southeast and South Asia has helped spotlight China’s emergence as the upstream water controller in Asia through a globally unparalleled hydro-engineering infrastructure centered on damming rivers. Indeed, Beijing itself has highlighted its water hegemony over downstream countries by releasing some dammed water for drought-hit nations in the lower Mekong River basin.
In releasing what it called “emergency water flows” to downstream states over several weeks from one of its six giant dams — located just before the Mekong flows out of Chinese territory — China brashly touted the utility of its upstream structures in fighting droughts and floods. Continue reading
Tag Archives: hydropower
California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders
For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing supplies from drought-starved rivers and streams in the Central Valley.
The curtailment order, issued Friday by the State Water Resources Control Board, has been expected for weeks. Earlier this spring, the board halted diversions under some 8,700 junior rights. With snowmelt reduced to a trickle this year, there simply isn’t enough water flowing in rivers to meet the demand of all those with even older rights predating 1914.
And as flows continue to decline this summer, board officials said, they expect to issue more curtailments, stopping river pumping by more senior diverters. Continue reading
Drought cuts power production of California dams
Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial functions: Store water and generate power.
And for decades, the massive concrete structure has channeled water to cities and farms while generating up to 710 megawatts of hydropower, enough to provide electricity for more than 532,000 homes.
But amid four years of drought, the reservoir is drained to 50% of capacity, cutting the dam’s power production by about a third, according to federal reclamation officials. Continue reading
China Looking to Secure Access to Africa Via Mega Infrastructure Projects
Rulers in Africa are either very desperate, ruthless or very blind to what China has created on their continent. Either way, China is swiping away any resource opportunities away in the continent from the United States.
MOSCOW, February 2 (Sputnik) — The African Union and China have recently agreed to on an ambitious transport infrastructure blueprint, aiming to link the capitals of all 54 states of the African continent via motorways, rail and air links. Promoting the development of a mature system of transport infrastructure in Africa will be extremely beneficial to China, guaranteeing it access to natural resources and markets on the continent, Chatham House Asia Program Associate Fellow James Edward Hoare told Sputnik on Monday. Continue reading