China Water Diversion Project to be Finished in 2014
    2012-11-02 14:46:32     CRIENGLISH.com         Web Editor: Mao

China's massive south-to-north water diversion project is designed to take water from China's longest river, the Yangtze, to feed the drought-prone areas in the north, including Beijing and Tianjin.

Water will flow northward via three routes-an eastern, a middle and a western route. The middle route is expected to be completed in 2014.

CRI's Zhang Qizhi has more.

 

Started in 2002, the construction of the middle route - located between Hubei and Henan provinces - involved 345 thousands workers from the two provinces. It is also the largest resident relocation project after the Three Gorges Dam.

Besides the relocation, to guarantee the water quality, the government has invested some 6 billion yuan in building sewage and garbage treatment facilities. Over one thousand heavily-polluting enterprises have been shut down, including paper mills, chemical plants, and pharmaceutical companies.

The Vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, Du Ying, says that the drive to improve water quality has achieved some success.

"From 2006 to 2010, all the planned short-term projects have been completed. The sewage treatment capacity increased by 96 tons per day, while the garbage treatment capacity shot up by five thousand tons per day. The old practice of pouring untreated sewage and garbage into the river has been eliminated."

However, he also points out that water quality in some tributaries has not met targeted levels.

"One of the reasons is that the pollutant in some tributaries is still way too much, the other is that the mechanism to achieve a win-win result between water quality protection and economic development is not established. Therefore any achieved success is not solid."

The deputy director of the water diversion project office, Yu Youjun, says that the government will invest another 12 billion yuan into ten major projects to ensure the water quality. The projects include building sewage and garbage treatment facilities, conserving soil and treating agricultural pollution and mine tailings.

In addition, the water quality improvement and the pollution control will be included in the achievement evaluation for local officials.

"The State Council urges local authorities to boost efforts to treat pollution and ensure the improvement of water quality. Planed missions and targets should be assigned to relevant authorities or enterprises."

The middle route is scheduled to begin transferring water in 2014. Then, it will be able to transfer 9.5 billion cubic meter of clean water to the north every year. Drought problems in over 20 major cities including Beijing, Tianjin, and Zheng Zhou, will be solved.

For CRI, I'm Qizhi.

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