China to speed up south-to-north water diversion project

China is to accelerate the construction on the country’s huge south-to-north water diversion project next year.

The head of the project office Zhang Jiyao said that the South-to-North Water Diversion Project is designed to divert water from the water-rich south of the country, mainly the Yangtze, the country’s longest river, to arid northern parts. The huge project consists of eastern, middle and western routes. The eastern and middle routes are already under construction. The western route, meant to replenish the Yellow River with water from the upper reaches of the Yangtze through tunnels in the high mountains of western China, is still at the planning stage. Mr Zhang said a number of key projects along the eastern and middle routes would start next year. He added that investment of up to US$37.2 billion had been allowed by the State Council, or the Cabinet, for the phase-one projects along the eastern and middle routes. The Project’s statistics showed that a total US$6.68 billionof investment had been earmarked for the huge water project by the end of November, and US$3.32 billion had already been spent, with US$650 million on the eastern route and US$2.68 billion on the middle route.

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