The catastrophe that awaits the construction of the Nicaraguan canal is the contamination of the fresh drinking water supply for most of the population that comes from Lake Nicaragua. The bottom line is Nicaraguans can have one or the other. As stated by biologists;
“Construction of the canal and conservation of water for human consumption are mutually exclusive – you either have a canal or you have a reservoir of water for the population,”
For this reason I think that the canal will not be built. It is one thing to sell out the country to foreign interests, (the Chinese) in order to bring prosperity; it is totally another issue to purposely take away its water supply.
Clean water is a fundamental right as well as a necessity for life and prosperity. It is the primary job of leaders to insure their people a potable water supply. Unclean and contaminated water represents the #1 cause of health issues in poor tropical regions.
Destroying the water supply is not what a socialist politician like Daniel Ortega, (Nicaragua’s president) wants the people of his country and future generations to remember him for.
The engineers, for what would be the largest engineering project ever built, say they can design systems to keep the salt water out of the lake and avoid contamination. But this would at best, only be true in theory.
It does not factor in risks such as human error, mechanical malfunction and the big ones, earthquakes and hurricanes that are prevalent in this area of the world. Rosy engineering claims can only be based on a scenario where disasters do not happen. We all know however, that they do.
Dams would have to be constructed in the lake for creating the canal’s lock system. As with the Panama Canal, salt water along with pollution from ships would likely infiltrate the areas around those locks. That according to biologists would transform “a free-flowing freshwater ecosystem into an artificial slack-water reservoir combined with salt water.”
This means good-bye fresh drinking water—
Global capitalists however and Chinese billionaires need not despair. All can be saved. President Ortega and the Chinese have a plan B.
Ortega will grandstand to heroic proportions by canceling the canal due to what would be its horrendous environmental impact to his beloved people and country as well as its unthinkable damage to Lake Nicaragua, its main water supply.
The canal project will continue however as a “dry canal”
The dry canal will consist of a super heavy transport train to link the two coasts and two new super cargo ship ports. The new ports will allow the easy unloading of containers to the train, which would then zip across the country to be reloaded on a waiting cargo ship.
This scenario is the one that makes the most sense. It is much cheaper to build, far less than the estimated 50 -100 billion dollars for the wet canal. It will make Ortega a very popular president and will further his ambitions in the realm of the world’s socialist leaders.
This also explains why the US has not involved itself, or protested in a time of very fragile relations with China and Russia (which has partnered with China on this project). And finally it explains why the canal, (which broke ground in December 2014) has not yet been fully funded, while at the same time The China Railway Company is feverishly working on surveying the route of the railway and access roads.
While there are complex Geo Political agendas at work in the Nicaraguan canal project, (some of which are top secret) this author feels in the end everyone will play nice. China will have another profitable foothold in the West. Nicaragua will prosper and US companies will find their niche as commercial partners. The Americans have already received contracts for media and public relations.