China launches huge water project

CCTV.COM 2002-12-28 10:12:54




China's biggest ever water project, the South North water diversion scheme was launched yesterday. Chinese President Jiang Zemin sent a congratulatory letter to the event. Premier Zhu Rongji was on hand at the Great Hall of the People to give the go ahead for the first phase of the project. The project is expected to soak up almost 60 billion US dollars and channel water from the mighty Yangtze River to the country's thirsty northern areas.


Premier Zhu announced the start of project on the ceremony. These words by Premier Zhu Rongji mark the official start of China's biggest ever water project, one that costs twice that of the Three Gorges Dam Project.


Minister of the State Development Planning Commission Zeng Peiyan presided the ceremony and read out a letter of congratulations from President Jiang Zemin. Vice Premier Wen Jiabao also attended the ceremony.


Meanwhile, similar ceremonies were also held at construction sites in east China's Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, where bulldozers are already at work.


The water diversion project will consist of three south to north canals with each running about 1,300 kilometers across the eastern, middle and western parts of the country. Upon its completion in the middle of the century, the project will be able to deliver 44.8 billion cubic meters of water to the north each year.


A senior official at the State Development Planning Commission says the project holds great significance for China's northern regions.


Du Ying, director of Rural Economic Development of the State Development Planning Commission, said, "The project will effectively ease the worsening water shortage in northern China, an area that accounts for one third of China's population and GDP but only one fifth of water resources per person. Ħħ


Eastern Project


Meanwhile, the new water supply will also help to improve the ecological environment in northern China since over exploitation of underground water in the region has already resulted in a sagging earth surface and worsening plantation.


Middle Project


In addition, the project will introduce various water conservation technologies. And, with the rise in water prices set after scientific calculations, the project will also help enhance water conservation awareness among the public.



Western Project


According to the plan, the central canal will draw Yangtze River water up to Beijing by 2010, and the eastern canal will take Yangtze River water to Shandong Province by 2005.


When the project is completed, a huge network with four major east west waterways, namely, the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Huaihe River and Haihe river and three north south canals will cover China, effectively coordinating water resources within the country. This will lay a solid foundation to help realize a comprehensive well off society.


The goals of the World's ever largest Water Project :



Flood control .............................................................Environmental Control .......................................................Irrigation


Cross-country water transfer benefits economy


Despite their high cost, cross-country water transfer projects inject life into regional and national economies.


The United States has constructed a total of over ten trans-country water diversion projects with the largest being the one in California.


Its water pipelines cover over 700 kilometers with 29 reservoirs, and diverts water from the upper reaches of the Sacramento River in northwestern California to the dry plains and valleys in the Southland.


With an annual water transfer volume of over 5.2 billion cubic meters, the project has greatly aided irrigation, flood-control, and environmental protection.


It has turned the vast desert tracts in the American Southwest into prosperous regions which have witnessed high economic growth.


In Peru, the water diverted from the Colca River in the south to its water-short southwestern areas not only helped the development of agriculture, but also pushed the economic growth of the whole country.


Pakistan, Egypt, Australia and Israel, too, have seen their regional and national economies benefit from cross-country water diversion projects.


Chinese premier urges good work in water diversion project

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2003-08-14 19:04

BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday called for great efforts in building the ambitious project to divert water from south China to the thirsty northern part.

"We must be meticulous in organization, design and construction, and work hard to build a world first-class project," Wen said at a meeting of the State Council committee in charge of constructing the project.

Top priority must be given to economic use of water resources and pollution control, he stressed.

Wen urged departments concerned to speed up drafting plans and policies on financing, migration, water conservation, pollution control and water resources protection for the project, with emphasis placed on emergency water supply to Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province. Enditem

Chinese premier: water diversion project to start in all-round way in east, central China



BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Work on the eastern and central canals of the south-north water diversion project will start in an all-round way this year, Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday.

Efficient use of water and reducing water pollution in north China will be a major part of the huge water diversion project to bring much needed water to dry northern areas from the south, the premier said.

Relevant administrations are working on plans to protect the water from pollution along the diversion, Wen said at a meeting of the committee in charge of the project under the State Council.

The committee on Thursday approved in principle eight projects planned to start soon, including a canal from Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province to Tuancheng Lake in Beijing, the reinforcement of the dam of Danjiangkou Reservoir, a tunnel crossing the Yellow River, and construction of sewage treatment plants in cities along the eastern canal.

Wen stressed scientific decision-making in the design, construction and management of relevant facilities for the water diversion project.

By 2008, 295 water pollution control projects will have been built along the east canal, one of three south-to-north water diversion canals running about 1,300 km across the eastern, middle and western parts of the country.

But 65 projects to cut waste water have already been completed while 66 are under construction and 164 have not started yet.

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) admitted that water pollution along the east canal was still worrisome. All seven spots monitored by SEPA were reported to be polluted in varying degrees.

Premier Wen said the project would benefit from the ongoing water pricing and water resources management reform. New rules to charge enterprises and residents for disposing of waste water will also be adopted.

On the east canal alone, 24 billion yuan (2.9 billion US dollars) will be invested in reducing pollution and protecting the environment, one third of the budget for the canal.

The south-to-north water diversion project formally started on December 27 last year, and aims to divert 44.8 billion cubic meters of water from the Yangtze River to thirsty north China.

But the country will still encourage economic use of water in north China and carry out measures to reduce water consumption, Wen said.

Emergency water supply to Beijing, Tianjin and north China's Hebei Province will a priority of the project, he said. Enditem



Backgrounder: China's south-to-north water diversion project

BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- China's water diversion project, to bring relief to China's drought-ridden north by diverting water from the Yangtze River, is another mammoth water conservancy scheme, larger even than the Three Gorges Project.

The massive project is expected to require investment of about 486 billion yuan (about 59 billion US dollars), twice as much as the cost of the Three Gorges Dam project.

Once the project is completed, up to 44.8 billion cubic meters of water will be diverted through three canals to the north, about the annual volume of all the water in the Yellow River in normal years.

The acute water shortages in the valleys of the Yellow, Huaihe and Haihe Rivers, which are home to more than one-third of the country's farmland, grain output, population and gross domestic output, will be significantly alleviated.

The scheme has taken 50 years of planning to get to this starting point, and the project is expected to take another 50 years to be completed.

In the 1950s, the late chairman Mao Zedong who was also the founder of the People's Republic of China, proposed for the first time the idea of bringing water from the country's south to the north.

After 50 years of research and discussion, the overall program for the water transfer project was approved in principle by the State Council on August 23, 2002.

According to the program, China will build three canals, all more than 1,000 km in length, to act as the eastern, central and western diversion corridors.

The three diversion lines will link together four of China's seven major rivers, namely the Yangtze, Yellow, Huaihe and Haihe rivers.

The northern part of the 1,789 km Hangzhou-Beijing Grand Canal, built 1,400 years ago, will constitute the main body of the eastern canal, which has been under construction since last year.

Work on the central canal, starting from Jiangsu Province, running through Hubei and Henan provinces and ending in Beijing, is scheduled to start in October this year.

The third waterway, to be finished by 2050, will cut through high mountains near Tibet to link the Yangtze with the headwaters of the Yellow River, which is chronically dried up from overuse.

When the severe water shortage in north China is alleviated, the ecological environment will benefit and the country will be able to sustain social and economic development.

Meanwhile, prevention and alleviation of water pollution in the Yangtze will also be a priority to ensure the diverted water is clean.

As part of the project, 24 billion yuan, or one third of the budget for the diversion canal running through Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, has been earmarked for 379 projects designed to cut waste pollution in areas along the canal, including waste water treatment plants.