China Gives Assurances about Hydro Plans in Tibet

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China is giving assurances to India that it will not build dams that disrupt the flow of Brahmaputra river (Yarlung Tsangpo tibetan name for the river) in Tibet.

The UK Guardian had talked about the engineering plans for a megadam in Tibet.

China will be building some arrangement of dams for power generation and water management in Tibet and all over the country. It is probably more likely that China will avoid megadams for political and engineering reasons.

What would be the rationale behind such a big project? The story of the damming (and eventually diverting) the Brahmaputra can be summarised in one question: ‘Who will feed China?’ Beijing needs water to feed its people; needs water to produce food and electricity to run its economy. Twenty years ago, Chinese experts were led to look around for water. The answer was not far: Tibet is the water tower of Asia. About 90 per cent of the Tibetan rivers runoff flows downstream to China, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Thus the idea to use Tibet’s waters for Northern China was born.

An alternative proposal, known as Daduqia which ‘avoids large dams altogether and takes full advantage of the 2,400m drop in altitude, but it is near the border with India and would be highly exposed if there were another conflict’

Here is more coverage of the possible and active hydroelectric projects in Tibet

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