Chinese engineers have started feasibility studies for construction of a 1,000km long tunnel – making it the world’s longest tunnel – to transfer water from Tibet to Xinjiang.
The planned tunnel would be built in sections with “waterfalls” between to manage the gradient and divert water from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet which feeds India’s Brahmaputra river.
Geotechnical engineers currently working on construction of the 600km long water tunnel in China’s Yunnan province have said that it is providing a rehearsal for the techniques that will used on the planned tunnel.
“The water diversion project in central Yunnan is a demonstration project,” Zhang Chuanqing, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics. “It is to show we have the brains, muscle, and tools to build super-long tunnels in hazardous terrains, and the cost does not break the bank.”
Nonetheless, Chuanqung said that fault zones are the biggest headache on the planned route.