China's Epic Yangtze Tunnel: Unprecedented Underground Challenge

China’s Pearl River Delta Water Resources Allocation Project is an unprecedented hydraulic engineering endeavor. With an investment of 35.4 billion yuan, it aims to address water scarcity in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and other areas. The project involves the construction of a 113.2-kilometer-long water pipeline using deep-level tunneling techniques, making it the world’s longest shield tunneling suspended water project with the highest water pressure.

To ensure the project’s success, China has deployed advanced technologies and experiences from around the world. The complexity and scale of the project proved too challenging for Japan and Germany, who admitted their inability to undertake such a task.

The underground construction site, located 40 to 60 meters deep, presents numerous challenges. Traditional open-channel water conveyance methods were replaced with underground deep-buried shields and pipeline water conveyance methods, saving nearly 90 percent of land. However, this approach brings world-class challenges, particularly in terms of ensuring safety, facility security, and long-term maintenance.

To overcome these challenges, Guangdong Yuhai Pearl River Delta Water Supply Co., Ltd. collaborated with Tencent Digital Twin and Koron Software to develop smart water conservancy systems. Using IoT devices and sensors, they monitor the complex underground construction environment in real-time, creating a virtual construction site composed of digital elements. This enables comprehensive monitoring and supervision of the entire construction process, including the cross-sea shield tunneling project.

Once completed, the Pearl River Delta Water Resources Allocation Project will alleviate water scarcity and provide emergency backup water sources for the region. It plays a crucial role in supporting the development of the Greater Bay Area and represents a milestone in China’s ambitious infrastructure projects.