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The South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China: An Engineering Solution to Socio-environmental Challenges

Author(s): Xin He; Jun Guo; Jindong Cai

Linked Author(s): Xin He, Jun Guo

Keywords: IAHR; Hydrolink; Interbasin transfer; SNWDP; South-to-North; Water diversion; Engineering features; Climate resilience


China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP) is one of the most ambitious and significant water infrastructure projects in the world. The proposal for this great undertaking was initiated in the 1950s to address severe water scarcity issues in the northern regions of China by diverting water from the south, where water resources are relatively abundant. After decades of planning, where more than 50 proposals were compared, the Chinese central government decided to implement this unprecedented project in 2002. SNWDP comprises three routes located in the east, central, and west of the country, extending over 4,350 km and designed to divert 44.8 billion m3 of water. This article explores the engineering marvels and remarkable results of this project after the first phase of the East Route and Middle Route became fully operational in 2013 and 2014, proving the project’s indispensable role in China’s water management.


Year: 2023

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