Tuesday, December 16, 2008

China to accelerate huge water diversion project

Reuters: China will accelerate construction of the south-to-north water diversion project next year, the Xinhua news agency quoted the head of the project office, Zhang Jiyao, as saying. The project, criticized by some environmentalists for encouraging the wasteful use of water, will divert water from the Yangtze River in western and central China to arid northern regions through three channels: eastern, middle and western.

A number of projects along the eastern and middle routes would start next year, Zhang said, drawing on investment of up to 254.6 billion yuan ($37.20 billion) authorized by the State Council, or the Cabinet, for the eastern and middle routes.

...Sections of the project in coastal Shandong province and eastern Jiangsu province have been completed. A middle section linking Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, and Beijing, has also been finished, and an emergency diversion was started in September to supply about 300 million cubic meters of water to the capital through March 10.

...Environmentalists say the diversion project encourages wasteful water use in Beijing, reduces the water supply to arid surrounding regions and takes little account of the potential long-term impact.

Chang Liu shot this picture of the Yangtze River from a cruise boat, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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