Yunnan-Oman Water Storage Project

An holistic approach to multilayered drought problems

Posted on 31 October 2011

Yunnan-Oman Water Storage Project

The Yunnan/Bamboo project addresses the problem of water scarcity and drought in the province of Yunnan (China) and other provinces like Dhofar (Oman). It is a science-based approach to preserve water in underground manmade-aquifers in order to reduce soil erosion. Next to that, it develops bamboo plantations which will increase local farmers’ income and provide bamboo products, such as food, paper, clothing and construction materials for housing.


The pilot project aims to implement new and innovative ways to mitigate the consequences of prolonged periods of drought in China and/or Oman and, if successful, to contribute to the resolution of many water management, infrastructure, agriculture, health/food/malnutrition issues in our world. Against this background, it is envisaged to make available against the lowest possible cost the results of this project to any part of the world in need of such solutions.


  • Bio-Sealing Technology (Smart Soils) - 'man-made' aquifers
  • Monitoring weather, soil moisture, and water resources
  • Modeling bamboo growth and its dynamic water demands
  • Early drought warning and decision support


The bio-sealing/bamboo project is expected to significantly positively affect the economy of the regions concerned in various ways:
- (Quasi-)permanent availability of water in man-made' aquifers
- Prevention of soil erosion through re-forestation/bamboo plantations
- Opportunities for the establishment of new SMEs in view of bamboo processing in the areas of construction, furniture, decoration, utensils, food, energy, etc.
- Higher income for farmers/new income possibilities for local population leading to better housing, better healthcare, better education

The non-economic impact of the bio-sealing/bamboo project is expected to include:
- Better health as new bamboo-based highly nutritious food becomes readily available
- Nature protection through the prevention of soil erosion and the abolishment of monoculture
- New (vocational) training needs in view of bamboo processing
- Better education as children can go to school longer in view of higher income of parents
- Development of renewable energy source.

Technologies used

With support of the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, the Dutch research institution Deltares and the Chinese Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, a first ever large-scale test in China will be executed focused at the creation of manmade underground water masses (aquifers) through the new ‘BioSealing’ technology. This technology seals off cracks in the rock bottom under layers of earth, thus creating the possibility for underground water basins. On top of such basins, bamboo and other relevant plants providing biodiesel can be planted, thus contributing to water sources, food through bamboo sprouts, construction materials through bamboo trees and biodiesel through several other plants. Meanwhile, this research has uncovered a high health value related to bamboo sprouts.

This technology can also be launched in Japan, Indonesia and Oman, to promote improved water management on a local scale and to provide more employment and an expansion of the economic activities and development by means of the production of food and construction material.

Project location

Project partners

  • Waterschap Vechtstromen