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China dam on Brahmaputra won’t be harmful if water not diverted

Black_cats

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China dam on Brahmaputra won’t be harmful if water not diverted

ENVIRONMENT
Sadiqur Rahman
30 November, 2020, 10:55 pm
Last modified: 30 November, 2020, 11:48 pm

China will build a super hydropower plant in the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo – the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra



If water is not diverted through China's proposed super dam to be built on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet, there will be no harm to the water flow downstream, Bangladesh, say experts.

China will build a super hydropower plant in the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo – the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra.

A proposal has been put forward in China's 14th Five-Year Plan to be implemented from next year, Global Times reported on Sunday, quoting Yan Zhiyong, chairman of the Power Construction Corporation of China.

Water experts and activists in Bangladesh say the proposed dam will not have any adverse impact on the Brahmaputra's water flow downstream to Bangladesh.

Ainun Nishat, a renowned water resources expert, told The Business Standard that if the proposed dam operates on the run-of-river basis, it will not reduce water flows to Bangladesh. Instead, its controlled water discharge will increase water flow downstream during the dry season.

"In case of a water diversion, negative impacts need to be measured based on the volume of diverted water," Nishat said, adding that the only potential direction for water diversion from Medog is inner-Mongolia.

"Such a diversion will be very expensive," he said.

In 2015, China commissioned the $1.5 billion Zangmu Hydropower Station, while the development of three other dams are now underway at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha – the Three Gorges.

Although the dams are either built in the upper and middle reaches of the river, the proposed super dam will be in the lower reaches for the first time, to tap huge potentials of power generation.

Medog is the last county in Tibet that borders India's Arunachal province. If the dam is constructed here, the Grand Canyon of Yarlung Zangbo, located in Medog, will work as a natural reservoir for hydropower.

Global Times reported that the mainstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River has the richest water resources in the Tibet Autonomous Region, about 80 million kilowatt-hours, while the 50-kilometre section of the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon has 70 million kWh that could be developed with a 2,000-metre drop, which is equivalent to more than 3 Three Gorges power stations in Hubei province.

The proposed 60 million kWh hydropower project could provide 300 billion kWh of clean, renewable and zero-carbon electricity annually.

"The project will play a significant role in realising China's goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060," Global Times quoted Yan.

As a lower riparian country, what will be the potential harm to Bangladesh with such an establishment?

Generally, any intervention in natural river water flow has negative impacts. Initially, after commencing the dam's construction, it will push the relocation of more than 1,400 inhabitants in Medog. The river-based ecology will be affected, and water quality will deteriorate after passing through the hydropower plant.

However, after the water travels through a long route of more than 1,000 kilometres from Arunachal, water quality will be restored for Bangladesh.

"As the proposed site is a distance from Bangladesh, negative impacts will be negligible," Nishat said.

Most importantly, the lion's share of the Brahmaputra run-off comes from hilly rainfall, and the catchment area is located just downstream of the proposed dam.

Sheikh Rokon, general secretary of Riverine People – a Bangladesh-based voluntary organisation, however, is sceptical about the consequences.

He said intervention to natural river water flow might slow down or speed up the siltation process in Bangladesh through the Brahmaputra.

"Hence, construction of the proposed dam needs to be discussed at the state-level before it starts," he added.

Rokon said that rather than the China-India or China-Bangladesh set-up, environmental activists have long been demanding a discussion of the transboundary river water issues, and resolution through multi-lateral arrangements.

State Minister for the Water Resources Ministry, Jahid Faruk and Deputy Minister AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem could not be reached for comments.

 

HalfMoon

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China dam on Brahmaputra won’t be harmful if water not diverted

ENVIRONMENT
Sadiqur Rahman
30 November, 2020, 10:55 pm
Last modified: 30 November, 2020, 11:48 pm

China will build a super hydropower plant in the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo – the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra



If water is not diverted through China's proposed super dam to be built on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet, there will be no harm to the water flow downstream, Bangladesh, say experts.

China will build a super hydropower plant in the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo – the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra.

A proposal has been put forward in China's 14th Five-Year Plan to be implemented from next year, Global Times reported on Sunday, quoting Yan Zhiyong, chairman of the Power Construction Corporation of China.

Water experts and activists in Bangladesh say the proposed dam will not have any adverse impact on the Brahmaputra's water flow downstream to Bangladesh.

Ainun Nishat, a renowned water resources expert, told The Business Standard that if the proposed dam operates on the run-of-river basis, it will not reduce water flows to Bangladesh. Instead, its controlled water discharge will increase water flow downstream during the dry season.

"In case of a water diversion, negative impacts need to be measured based on the volume of diverted water," Nishat said, adding that the only potential direction for water diversion from Medog is inner-Mongolia.

"Such a diversion will be very expensive," he said.

In 2015, China commissioned the $1.5 billion Zangmu Hydropower Station, while the development of three other dams are now underway at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha – the Three Gorges.

Although the dams are either built in the upper and middle reaches of the river, the proposed super dam will be in the lower reaches for the first time, to tap huge potentials of power generation.

Medog is the last county in Tibet that borders India's Arunachal province. If the dam is constructed here, the Grand Canyon of Yarlung Zangbo, located in Medog, will work as a natural reservoir for hydropower.

Global Times reported that the mainstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River has the richest water resources in the Tibet Autonomous Region, about 80 million kilowatt-hours, while the 50-kilometre section of the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon has 70 million kWh that could be developed with a 2,000-metre drop, which is equivalent to more than 3 Three Gorges power stations in Hubei province.

The proposed 60 million kWh hydropower project could provide 300 billion kWh of clean, renewable and zero-carbon electricity annually.

"The project will play a significant role in realising China's goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060," Global Times quoted Yan.

As a lower riparian country, what will be the potential harm to Bangladesh with such an establishment?

Generally, any intervention in natural river water flow has negative impacts. Initially, after commencing the dam's construction, it will push the relocation of more than 1,400 inhabitants in Medog. The river-based ecology will be affected, and water quality will deteriorate after passing through the hydropower plant.

However, after the water travels through a long route of more than 1,000 kilometres from Arunachal, water quality will be restored for Bangladesh.

"As the proposed site is a distance from Bangladesh, negative impacts will be negligible," Nishat said.

Most importantly, the lion's share of the Brahmaputra run-off comes from hilly rainfall, and the catchment area is located just downstream of the proposed dam.

Sheikh Rokon, general secretary of Riverine People – a Bangladesh-based voluntary organisation, however, is sceptical about the consequences.

He said intervention to natural river water flow might slow down or speed up the siltation process in Bangladesh through the Brahmaputra.

"Hence, construction of the proposed dam needs to be discussed at the state-level before it starts," he added.

Rokon said that rather than the China-India or China-Bangladesh set-up, environmental activists have long been demanding a discussion of the transboundary river water issues, and resolution through multi-lateral arrangements.

State Minister for the Water Resources Ministry, Jahid Faruk and Deputy Minister AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem could not be reached for comments.

Water won't be diverted as long as Bangladesh is in the Chinese camp.
 

mb444

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Offcourse water would be diverted with devastating impact for BD. We need to prepare for worst case scenario and start raising the issue via international and legal channels.
 

Black_cats

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India plans dam on Brahmaputra to offset Chinese construction upstream

SOUTH ASIA & CHINA
Reuters
01 December, 2020, 05:30 pm
Last modified: 01 December, 2020, 05:47 pm

Indian authorities are concerned Chinese projects could trigger flash floods or create water scarcity


On Monday, Chinese state media reported the country could build up to 60 GW of hydropower capacity on a section of the Brahmaputra, citing a senior executive. Photo: China Society for Hydropower Engineering (CSHE)



On Monday, Chinese state media reported the country could build up to 60 GW of hydropower capacity on a section of the Brahmaputra, citing a senior executive. Photo: China Society for Hydropower Engineering (CSHE)

India is considering a plan to build a 10 gigawatts (GW) hydropower project in a remote eastern state, an Indian official said on Tuesday, following reports that China could construct dams on a section of the Brahmaputra river.

The river, also known as the Yarlung Tsangbo in China, flows from Tibet into India's Arunachal Pradesh state and down through Assam to Bangladesh. Indian authorities are concerned Chinese projects could trigger flash floods or create water scarcity.


China dam on Brahmaputra won’t be harmful if water not diverted


"The need of the hour is to have a big dam in Arunachal Pradesh to mitigate the adverse impact of the Chinese dam projects," T.S. Mehra, a senior official in India's federal water ministry, told Reuters.

"Our proposal is under consideration at the highest level in the government," Mehra said, adding the Indian plan would create a large water storage capacity to offset the impact of Chinese dams on flows.

Diplomatic relations between India and China are at a nadir, with troops locked in a border face-off in the western Himalayas for months.

Some analysts warned that damming the Brahmaputra could potentially develop into another flashpoint, as Beijing's dam-building activities moved closer to the Indian border.

"India is facing China's terrestrial aggression in the Himalayas, maritime encroachments on its backyard and, as the latest news is a reminder, even water wars," Brahma Chellaney, a specialist on India-China ties, said in a tweet.

On Monday, Chinese state media reported the country could build up to 60 GW of hydropower capacity on a section of the Brahmaputra, citing a senior executive.

Yan Zhiyong, chairman of state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China, speaking at an industry conference, said plans to dam the river were a "historic opportunity".

"Formally, we are telling them (the Chinese) that any project you undertake, should not cause an adverse impact on India. They have given an assurance, but we don't know how long their assurance will last," Mehra said.

Hydro projects on Asia's great rivers have been a growing source of regional tensions in recent years. In Southeast Asia, China has faced accusations a series of dams it has built on the Mekong have worsened drought in downstream countries, which Beijing denies.

India would be concerned if the Chinese built a dam around a so-called "great bend", where the Yarlung curves southward before entering India and where the river gains substantial volume of water, said Sayanangshu Modak, a researcher at the New-Delhi based Observer Research Foundation think-tank.

This region, however, is also geologically unstable, making potential dam construction challenging, he said.

In Bangladesh, Sheikh Rokon, secretary-general of environment campaigners Riverine People, said the multilateral discussion should be held before China builds any dams.

"China's downstream neighbours have a legitimate cause for concern. Water flow will be disrupted," he said.

 

Michael Corleone

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Ofc China won’t totally divert the water? Why would it? That’s stupid, they intend to build a dam to give water to Bangladesh, nothing suspicious here
 

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