China to improve water quality of diversion project

The government will spend 12 billion yuan (1.92 billion US dollars) to improve water quality on the middle route of the south-to-north water diversion project from 2011 to 2015.

The money will be used to build sewage and garbage treatment facilities, conserve soil and treat polluted rivers, agricultural pollution and mine tailings in the Danjiangkou Reservoir and its upper reaches in central China’s Hubei Province, according to an inter-ministerial conference held on Wednesday.

The Danjiangkou Reservoir is a major water source along the south-north water diversion project’s middle route.

Water quality in some tributaries served by the reservoir has not met targeted levels, according to Du Ying, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.

He urged local authorities to speed up efforts to treat pollution and ensure the improvement of water quality.

The massive south-north water diversion project is designed to take water from China’s longest river, the Yangtze, to feed drought-prone areas in the north, including Beijing. Water will flow northward via three routes - an eastern route, a middle route and a western route.

The project started with the construction of the eastern route in 2002. The construction of the middle route followed in 2003.

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