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The South-North Water Transfer Project: a cost-benefit analysis

Mallonee, Margaret (2016) The South-North Water Transfer Project: a cost-benefit analysis. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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China possesses the fifth largest endowment of fresh water resources in the world, but by
per capita standards, it is strained at one-third of the world average. Water scarcity is particularly
concerning for the semi-arid North China plain, which receives only a fraction of the precipitation
South China receives. However, North China contains some of China’s most important city,
including the capital city, Beijing. To help meet increasing water demands, the Chinese Central
Government authorized the expansion of the South-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP).
Policy-makers world-wide argue that the SNWTP’s costs exceed its benefits because it is only
short-term solution for China’s long-term water scarcity problem and does not solve the difficulty
of high water demand for a limited freshwater supply. To test this theory, this project runs a costbenefit
analysis on the SNWTP’s central route’s costs and benefits to Beijing over a 20 year test
period. The analysis shows that the benefits of the SNWTP exceed its costs. Because the
SNWTP’s central route has only been in use for one year, data is limited. For these reasons, this
project also shows that the SNWTP’s costs may exceed its benefits in the long-run, but additional
research, particularly a field study along the SNWTP’s central route and in South China, is needed
to show the impacts of water diversion on these regions and also assess the energy footprint of this


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mallonee, MargaretMargaret.L.Mallonee@gmail.comMLM1710000-0001-5987-1773
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorRawski, Thomastgrawski@pitt.eduTGRAWSKI
Committee MemberCook, Jamesjacook@pitt.eduJACOOK
Committee MemberNoroski, Paulpjn5@pitt.eduPJN5
Committee MemberTurner,
Date: 27 April 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 March 2016
Approval Date: 27 April 2016
Submission Date: 22 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 61
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: China's South-North Water Transfer Project, Water Scarcity
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 16:13
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:33


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