Saturday, January 26, 2008

China Moves Yellow River for 2008 Olympics

Befitting a concerned host, Beijing has nowhere near enough water for the upcoming special few weeks when the world focuses its attention on running, no-splash dives, and backflips. Problem "solved" - divert the second largest river in eastern China to gush towards Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics too. Only a nation worried because its international prestige is on the line with an economic motive to profit first from tourists followed by multi-national corporations eager to chain smoke, feed and drink on China's capitalist boom would disregard Mother Nature's pending Vengeance to reroute a cultural icon of a river into a dying lake almost fifty miles away. Like the mighty Mississippi in the US, there are a series of locks and gates on the silt-filled Yellow River that will be opened, allowing rushing water at 70 cubic meters per second to fill what's left of China's largest freshwater lake in just under 120 days.
At the same time, four reservoirs that naturally feed Baiyangdian, northern China's largest freshwater lake, will instead provide additional water for Beijing, which suffers chronic shortages, according to the paper.

The lake, about 70 kilometres from Beijing, has been decimated by environmental degradation for more than a decade as both water use and pollution has skyrocketed in tandem with China's booming economy.

It would then largely flow along the ancient "Grand Canal," one of China's earliest water projects, built nearly 1,400 years ago.
Regardless of the Olympics, Beijing is exploding in size from construction, displaced people, a robust tourist industry and being the center of government. Due to drought striking Lake Baiyangdian, feeding China's capital, water is at a premium with no real replenishment in sight. The city needed a longer term water solution, but this engineering fait accompli also harms agriculture productivity gravely needed in a billion and half person China, deprives farmers and others who relied on the river for centuries. Not that the Yellow River's water is all that clean with any number of manufacturers and others using it as both a toxic refuse dump and fresh drinking water.

Northern China is wracked with water shortages due to soaring demand, an ongoing drought and global warming. Per capita water usage in Beijing is already far below national averages.

Meanwhile, a separate project to divert Yellow River water to the Shandong city of Qingdao, where Olympic sailing events will take place, was completed last week, the paper said.

From 8 August to 24 August 2008, The Games of the XXIX Olympiad will go on making memories in a striking and colorful fashion with The Fuwas or good luck dolls, floral tributes and an incredible architectural vision in the main stadium. It's the after effects as China goes in to a rainy season and the landscape is no longer a natural barrier to the coming flash floods and erosion caused by the Yellow River's Diversion.

The Three Gorges Dam Project was built to solve a power issue by leveraging and harnessing the Yanghtze River, but it has had a stunning lack of consistent success in providing electricity from this decades long enterprise while displacing millions of China's indigenous people. Special and exclusive for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China is altering the natural flow of the Yellow River for a new long march. The Yellow River also has bears two informal names, China's Pride and China's sorrow as the Chinese Cradle of Civilization or Mother River.

From late 2007, comes a beautiful book, Yellow River: The Spirit and Strength of China authored by Aldo Palvan.

Coming in May is the 2008 Edition of The Complete Book of The Olympics by David Wallechinsky, son of acclaimed author Irving Wallace, who attended his first Summer Olympiad in Rome, now enthralled with all things Olympic.

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