Nobody remembers who invented the project of turning the Siberian rivers, but it is known for sure who gave the second life to the project
The project of turning Siberian rivers was actively discussed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. In accordance with the main idea of the project, the rivers of Ob, Irtysh, and Yenisey would be turned from Russia’s north to south, to Central Asia. This was designed to irrigate the droughty Central Asiatic regions. The creators of the project believed that the Siberian water supply was excessive and the rivers could be easily shifted to the south. In addition, the idea was extremely popular at the time. Moreover, some works for the realization of the project were even started. Opponents of the project pointed out at the expensiveness of the idea and warned that it posed a threat to the natural balance; however, the authorities ignored the warnings the project’s opponents. Because of the shortage of financing, the project was cancelled in the 1980s. After several years, nobody remembered the project; moreover, it was cited as an example of absolute absurdity. However, as it turns out, there are still people who remember the project and consider it rather reasonable. Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov is among these people.
Yury Luzhkov suggested to the federal authorities to revive the project for turning the waters of Siberian rivers to Central Asia. He even addressed the suggestion to President Putin. Yury Luzhkov suggests building a canal to transport the water of the Ob River from the city of Khanty-Mansiisk to Central Asia. The canal’s length will make up 2,550 kilometers; it will be an open canal 200 meters wide and 16 meters deep.
It is supposed that volume of water shifted from the Ob River to Central Asia will make up 6-7% of its total volume; this will be approximately 27.2 cubic meters of water per year. The project submitted by the Moscow mayor for consideration of the government says that in the 21st century, volumes of fresh water sold on the world market will be equal to the volumes of oil sales. Yury Luzhkov thinks: “As is seen from experience, the price of fresh water will steadily increase, and spending on the construction of the infrastructure for fresh water trade will be more effective than for construction of the infrastructure for oil trade.”
Yegor Belous PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://districts.pravda.ru/districts/2002/9/28/85/3886_Lujkov.html
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