Huge diversion project brings water to China's north

Huge diversion project brings water to China's north

A girl plays in a water fountain to cool off on a hot day in Beijing on July 12, 2017. About 70% of Beijing's water is provided by the South-to-North Water Diversion project. (Reuters photo)
A girl plays in a water fountain to cool off on a hot day in Beijing on July 12, 2017. About 70% of Beijing's water is provided by the South-to-North Water Diversion project. (Reuters photo)

BEIJING: China has diverted 10 billion cubic metres of fresh water from the south of the country to the drought-prone north in the few years since a massive water project came onstream, authorities said on Tuesday.

In recent decades, water supplies in north have fallen short due to protracted droughts, a surging population, agriculture and unprecedented manufacturing growth.

China aims to ultimately supply 44.8 billion cubic metres annually to the north via the ambitious water engineering scheme, equal to 7% of the volume of water consumed by the entire country in 2015.

The project involves moving water from the south along three major routes and was first mooted as early as the 1950s.

Along the middle route, water pumped from the Yangtze River has gone to Beijing, Tianjin and the provinces of Henan and Hebei, according to the South-to-North Water Diversion Office under the State Council, or cabinet.

The middle route carries water through canals, water highways and pipelines from Danjiangkou reservoir in central Hubei Province. It came into operation in late 2014.

The project has supplied 2.7 billion cubic metres of water to Beijing, serving 11 million people.

Currently, about 70% of Beijing's water supply comes from the project. Previously the city's water supply came mainly from underground water.

Tianjin received 2.2 billion cubic metres of water, Henan 3.5 billion and Hebei 1.1 billion cubic metres.

China aims to keep national annual water consumption below 670 billion cubic metres through to 2020, as part of efforts to ease chronic regional shortages by cutting waste and boosting efficiency.


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