China / Society

Western route of water diversion project to meet water needs

By Xu Wei ( Updated: 2015-03-31 17:57

Chinese authorities are still researching the possibility of using the western route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project to solve the water shortages in the country's Northwestern areas, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Jiao Yong, vice-minister of water resources, said in a news conference that the western route of the water diversion project, which is expected to bring water from the upper reaches of the Yangtze River to the drought-savaged areas in the Northeastern provinces, is still being surveyed and researched by authorities.

"We are making steady progress to push forward the program and we hope the construction of the project will begin as soon as possible," he said.

He said there is still potential for the water conservation effort in the country's western areas, and ecological issues are an important factor that impeded the progress of the project.

The diversion project has eastern, central and western routes and is designed to take water from the country's longest river, the Yangtze, to drought-prone areas in North China. The eastern and central routes of the project have already been put into service.

Jiao said the central routes of the project, which deliver water from the Danjiangkou reservoir to Beijing, Tianjin municipalities and Hebei province, has already paid its dividends.

So far the project, which was put into service in December, has delivered 100 million metric tons of water to Beijing, and another 300 million tons to its nearby cities, he said.

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