China’s south-to-north water diversion project, the largest of its kind in the world, has transported over 10 billion cubic meters of water from the Yangtze River to the northern part of the country over the past three years, benefiting more than 100 million residents in areas with limited water resources.
The project is aimed at providing a permanent solution to the water shortage in North China by diverting water from the country’s water-rich southern provinces.
According to the State Council’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project Commission Office, the aggregate amount of water pumped to North China had reached 10 billion cubic meters by midday June 9. It is equivalent to moving 700 West Lakes – a renowned scenic area in Hangzhou in East China’s Zhejiang province – to the country’s northern regions, a report by CCTV said.
The grand water diversion project consists of three routes, among which the first phase projects the eastern and middle routes went into operation in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The western route is still at a pre-construction stage.
For the eastern route, water is pumped from the Yangzhou section of the Yangtze River in East China’s Jiangsu province and transported northward to Shandong province.
The middle route carries water from the Danjiangkou Reservoir at the border of Hubei and Henan provinces in Central China all the way to Beijing and Tianjin in the north. Residents in Henan and Hebei provinces along the route also benefit from the water.
The quality of the diverted water has met targeted standards and remained stable, monitoring data show.
Thanks to the “southern water”, which accounts for more than 70 percent of Beijing’s daily water supply, the water table in the Chinese capital rose 0.52 meters last year and its per capita amount of water resources has increased from 100 to 150 cubic meters, according to local authorities.