China's dams in Tibet likely to pose a threat to India's water supply
China’s dam construction activity is being monitored closely by the Indian government
China is not building a large number of dams on the Brahmaputra River for the benefit of the people of Tibet rather the possible reasons explain it could harm India’s water supply
China has constructed at least eight new dams on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet. To identify the aim of these massive construction projects, which have sparked concerns about the Chinese attempting to tame India’s water supply, India Today's OSINT team conducted an investigation using the Google Earth images.
Tibet’s Sangri Lokha region saw the construction of dams at an unprecedented pace and scale. Another similar construction has been observed on the Nyang river near the town of Nyingchi in Tibet's Nyingchi county, said the report.
As per a comparative analysis of satellite images of the Zangmo dam, its width has increased fourfold from 100 m in 2012 to 400 m as on August 4, 2020, and water levels have risen almost 150m, said the report.
The reservoir which spans across almost 10 km can hold more than 600 mn cubic meters of water and is an indication that a massive amount of water is under Chinese control in Tibet. However, quoting government sources, the India Today report said that the dam constructions are being monitored closely by the government and in terms of flash flooding there has not been anything abnormal noticed yet.
The report said that the satellite images indicate that China is not building a large number of dams on the Brahmaputra river for the benefit of the people of Tibet. Based on certain other reports, the India Today report said that the Chinese could also aim to use these dam reservoirs such as the Dagu dam to divert Brahmaputra's water to dry areas in Xinjiang or Central China. Another possible reason for building the dams could be to control the water flowing into India, said the report.
As per Indo-Sino bilateral agreements, China is expected to share data with India during the monsoon for the latter to keep track of water levels and prepare for floods. New Delhi is paying a sum of Rs 80 lakhs to Beijing for this data each year, the report said.