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Friday, March 16, 2018

Will flow if drinking water from the Altai mountains in China

The initiative of the Minister of agriculture of Alexander Tkachev, the uninterrupted supply of separate regions of China drinking water from the Altai, to put it mildly, misunderstood in our society.

photo: Kirill Iskoldsky

In principle, nothing extravagant proposal of the Ministry of agriculture seems to be not contains. At first, of a rich fresh water of the Altai in the arid regions of China is expected to transfer 70 million cubic meters of water per year. Such excess capacity in the region appears in the result of spring floods and spills to local water bodies. And if all correctly to organise, with the corresponding engineering infrastructure, its exports to China in the foreseeable future, can be increased to 1 billion cubic meters.

In General, everything is clear. Russia, as never before, need the money. To sell abroad surpluses of agricultural products we are not yet able themselves to partake imports. But falling revenues from oil exports would at least partially offset due to the supply of drinking water. It’s not necessary to grow. It either is or it is not.

Sale of drinking water in the world is not new. There are countries that are doing this good business. By the way, China is among them. But all they sell bottled mineral water. Russia, as always, follows the path of least resistance, plotting just to send to a neighboring country, a bottomless river.

Initially, however, the idea has caused a serious negative reaction among the Russians. There were even offers to transfer to China Altai water, while the Russian Ministry of agriculture. Do not stay aside from discussing such relevant topics even disgraced exile, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He, in particular, said: thought that Alexander Tkachev has set to develop domestic agriculture, and it turns out, cares more about the Chinese.

In short, the initiative of the Ministry of agriculture did not understand. Even after the Department received additional clarification. That, he says, the project will be carefully examined and studied by scientists — Russian and Chinese. However, we do not know that else in 70-e years of the last century a number of scientists within 10 years “carefully” worked on the transfer of Northern rivers (Irtysh, Ob and Tobol) in cotton areas of Central Asia. At the last moment adventurous project was stopped-powerful Central Committee of the CPSU. They felt that this “project of the 20th century” will cause irreparable harm to the environment.

Actually, the current initiative is somewhat reminiscent of the Soviet era Leonid Brezhnev.

It is proposed to take water from the reservoir Hilevskaya and Kulunda main canal in the Altai mountains and through the territory of Kazakhstan to conduct in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous region of China.

Immediately begs the question: Kazakhstan unlikely to give up charging fees for the transit of water. It will be beneficial to Russia or not? Of course, land under another “white sea canal” in Kazakhstan, you can buy property in Russia — but again at what price? Is the game worth the candle?

The main thing — is not clear whether such exports irreparable harm reclamation of Altai Krai and neighbouring regions? Local “green” activists are already urging their governors to officially declare that the Altai Republic in any such projects to participate will not be

“MK” has decided to learn the point of view on this controversial issue specialist, is Director of the Institute VSEGINGEO, doctor of geological-mineralogical Sciences, Professor Vladimir Krupoderov.

– Our country’s supply of fresh water is considered the second nation in the world, although I think it is the first,- said Vladimir Stepanovich.- Even if you do not take the lake Baikal, we have sufficient supplies of water from surface and underground rivers.

– We could face a deficit if we start to export to the right and left?

– Completely eliminated. I have long said that in addition to oil, we will sell and water. In those regions that suffer from lack of it: in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

– A project for the transfer in China?

– To us it is absolutely nothing to fear. But provided that you comply with the necessary environmental safeguards.

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