WMU: Overseas Study on China's Water Resources Management (Faculty-Led)

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Western Michigan University

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China is facing a water shortage crisis, especially in the water thirsty North and Northwest China. To cope with the worsening water crisis, China has developed a number of national programs and policies including large water works, regulations, a... read more

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China is facing a water shortage crisis, especially in the water thirsty North and Northwest China. To cope with the worsening water crisis, China has developed a number of national programs and policies including large water works, regulations, and water saving technologies to make sustainable use of her limited freshwater resources. In this study abroad program, we will travel to Beijing and Lanzhou in Northwest China to experience China’s worsening water shortage problems and learn how the Chinese government is responding and managing the water crisis.

In Beijing, we will have round table discussions with the water resources managers from the municipality of Beijing and researchers from Beijing Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and tour the South Water Northward Transfer Project that transfers water from the Yangtze River 1,200 km north to Beijing. Of course, we will also visit great attractions of the Great Wall, Imperial Palace, Beihai Park and Olympic Park, etc.

We will then fly to Lanzhou located on the shores of the Yellow River. Lanzhou is a modern industrial city and transportation hub in Northwest China, and was a major stop on the Silk Road in ancient times. As the geometric center of China, it borders the Loess Plateau, Mongolian Plateau, and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. During our stay in Lanzhou, we will tour the Jingtai Irrigation District that pumps water from the Yellow River over 713 m high to irrigate over 600,000 ha of farmland, visit the Liujiaxia Reservoir that provides water for municipal supplies, agricultural irrigation, and hydropower generation, explore the physical and cultural characteristics of unique mountain-oasis-desert systems in Northwest China, and learn how Chinese researchers, managers, and farmers adapt and respond to climate and environmental changes to make sustainable uses of water resources for both agricultural production and ecosystem protection. We will also have fun activities such as rafting on the Yellow River, listening to the folk songs, and walking on the sand dunes in the desert.  In addition, we will taste different flavors of beef, lamb, and local snacks such as famous Lanzhou beef noodle during our visit.  In short, this course will provide students a stimulating, productive, enjoyable and memorable experience.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Summer
Minimum GPA:
2.0
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