Divert water from South to North

Updated: 2006-08-01 16:24
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China is considering to spend 300 billion yuan in diverting water from the upper reaches of Yangtze River at the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the upper reaches of the Yellow River at the thirsty northwestern areas.

Li Guoying, head of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, said on Tuesday at a press conference that the western route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project will use a 300 kilometer-long relay of tunnels and channels to divert water from the Yalong, Dadu and Jinsha Rivers that flows from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau into southwest China to the upper reaches of the Yellow River.

The final construction timetable of the western route has not been nailed down, but the project is planned to be constructed in three phases. In its first phase, the project will transfer 4 billion cubic meters of water annually to the Yellow River. And after the third phase of the project is completed, the project will divert 17 billion cubic meters of water a year.

"When the economic and social development of the northwest reaches a certain level and the potential of water saving measures is exhausted, this project will be launched," Li said.

He said the route is not especially long, but it's technologically challenging.