Infographic: Bohai Pipeline Map — Coal Reserves vs. Water Resources in Northern China

A look at China’s coal-rich, yet water-scarce northern regions.

60-year-old geographer Huo Youguang thinks he has a solution for China’s geographic mismatch.

Drop a pipe into the Bohai Sea, draw more than 340,000 cubic meters of seawater a day into a complex of coastal desalination plants, and then pump this water 1,400 meters uphill for more than 600 kilometers to Xilinhot, a mining city in Inner Mongolia. If the first $US 6 billion stretch of pipeline performs as Huo anticipates, it could be expanded west an additional 1,900 kilometers. Click the buttons to see how water resources compare to coal reserves in China’s provinces. Roll over the provinces to see the data for each province’s reserves.

China water coal relationship infographic

Graphic © Ball State University for Circle of Blue.

Map and graphics by Season Schafer, Greg Hudson, Valerie Carnevale, Chelsea Kardokus, and Vicki Rosenberger, undergraduate students at Ball State University. With contribution by Aubrey Parker, a Traverse City-based editor and data analyst for Circle of Blue, and Casey Lawrence, a Traverse City-based data resources intern for Circle of Blue. Reach them at

Read more: Bohai Sea Pipeline Could Open China’s Northern Coal Fields

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