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Water wars? Thirsty, energy-short China stirs fear

May 27th, 2011 |

Thanks to Don Wilkin and Fred Stanback for this article.  See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42630131/ns/world_news-world_environment/t/water-wars-thirsty-energy-short-china-stirs-fear/

Water wars? Thirsty, energy-short China stirs fear

Associated Press

BAHIR JONAI, India (AP) — The wall of water raced through narrow Himalayan gorges in northeast India, gathering speed as it raked the banks of towering trees and boulders. When the torrent struck their island in the Brahmaputra river, the villagers remember, it took only moments to obliterate their houses, possessions and livestock.

No one knows exactly how the disaster happened, but everyone knows whom to blame: neighboring China.

“We don’t trust the Chinese,” says fisherman Akshay Sarkar at the resettlement site where he has lived since the 2000 flood. “They gave us no warning. They may do it again.”

About 800 kilometers (500 miles) east, in northern Thailand, Chamlong Saengphet stands in the Mekong river, in water that comes only up to her shins. She is collecting edible river weeds from dwindling beds. A neighbor has hung up his fishing nets, his catches now too meager.

Using words bordering on curses, they point upstream, toward China.

The blame game, voiced in vulnerable river towns and Asian capitals from Pakistan to Vietnam, is rooted in fear that China’s accelerating program of damming every major river flowing from the Tibetan plateau will trigger natural disasters, degrade fragile ecologies, divert vital water supplies.

For the rest of the article, please click here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42630131/ns/world_news-world_environment/t/water-wars-thirsty-energy-short-china-stirs-fear/



One Response to “Water wars? Thirsty, energy-short China stirs fear”

  1. Bernard cronyn Says:

    Unfortunately these situations are just the start of a process that will escalate as surely as night follows day. There is an interesting situation developing in Africa; a continent that has less water than Asia. My money is on the Nile where a few heated disagreements might start. After all, it is the only decent sized river flowing North through both Sudan and Egypt with those farther upstream already aggravating those farther down. Then we have of course the growing concerns of the peoples living downstream of Ethiopia on the Omo river due to be dammed (damned?) by, believe it or not, those paragons of environmentalism, the Chinese. I tend to agree with people like Prof. Norman Myers that conflict is already and will increasingly become part of the scenario surrounding the competition for resources as we relentlessly grow our populations.

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