China is planning a large water diversion project to secure water supply from Tibet. Part of the project is the construction of the world’s largest water tunnel to carry water from Tibet to Xinjiang, a barren region in northwest China.
The 1,000-kilometre tunnel is needed to divert water from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. Quartz and the South China Morning Post (SCMP) report that the tunnel would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls. The tunnel is to ‘turn Xinjiang into California’, reports the SCMP.
Xinjiang currently comprises large areas of uninhabitable deserts and dry grasslands. To test the feasibility of the project, a 600km tunnel in China’s Yunnan region is currently being constructed. The Tibet-Xinjiang tunnel raises questions in India and Bangladesh, as the project diverts water from upstream Brahmaputra. This river is a major water resource for both countries.
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