Olympics Water Diversion Threatens Millions

A Chinese official in Shaanxi province criticized Beijing’s water diversion plan for the Olympics that will bring water from southern provinces to the north. According to critics, the plan is short-sighted and will exacerbate problems for farmers. The Financial Times reports:

The diversion of water to Beijing for the Olympics and for big hydropower projects threatens the lives of millions of peasant farmers in China’s north-western provinces, according to a senior Chinese government official.

In an interview with the Financial Times, An Qiyuan, a member and former chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee for Shaanxi province and former Communist party chief of Shaanxi, warned of an impending social and environmental disaster because of overuse of scarce water resources.

In a critical tone seldom heard from Chinese officials, Mr An called on Beijing to provide compensation to the provinces that have been told to pump their cleanest water to the capital in order to ensure potable supplies during the Olympics.