A New Mantra for China’s Big Thirst: Less is More

AP reports on questions that are coming up over China’s water diversion plan:

For many in Zhangyigang, a village of 942 people in brick and mud houses in central China, it will be their second uprooting. They moved to higher ground in the late 1950s and 1960s when a dam was built on the Han River to create the Danjiangkou reservoir, submerging homes and temples. Now their next stop is to be Dengzhou, a busy market city 30 miles to the east, as the dam is raised.

“We are made to keep moving,” said Zhang Jiqing, 53, crouching by his bags of dried corn, which he fears won’t fetch a good price because of the financial crisis. “I have a deep longing for my old place. But what can I do if the government says we have to move? It is for the good of the nation.”

Now, that is coming under question.

Experts and environmentalists say it’s time China took a different approach to its growth-related challenges, one based on conservation rather than engineering.

The report is accompanied by a slideshow.