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Middle route of China's water project boosts water diversion to parched north

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-06-23 11:13
An aerial view of the Danjiangkou Dam in Hubei province. The reservoir is the start of the middle route of the South-North Water Diversion Project. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING - The middle route of China's South-to-North Water Diversion Project has accelerated its water diversion to the parched north in the past two months, the Ministry of Water Resources said.

Since April 29, water transfer flow at the Taocha canal - head of the route has been gradually upgraded. On May 9, it reached 420 cubic meters per second, the designed maximum flow of the route, the first time after six years of operation. With this flow, a standard swimming pool can be filled in five seconds.

In less than two months, the middle route transfered 1.9 billion cubic meters to the north, including 950 million cubic meters of water for ecological purposes, according to the ministry.

The middle route is important due to its role in feeding water to the national capital. It starts from the Danjiangkou Reservoir in Central China's Hubei province and runs across Henan and Hebei before reaching Beijing and Tianjin. It began supplying water on Dec 12, 2014.

In 2019, China unveiled the Action Plan for Integrated Governance of Groundwater Over-exploitation in North China, the country's first comprehensive plan to address groundwater overexploitation in a large area. In this regard, the middle route plays an important role in groundwater recharge.

From 2017 to 2020, except for meeting domestic water demand of large and medium cities along the route, the middle route has made use of excessive water of the Danjiangkou Reservoir in flood season, to allocate ecological water to rivers and lakes along the route.

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