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South-north Water Diversion Project to Supply Water to Beijing in 2008

China's giant South-to-North Water Diversion Project is to begin supplying water to Beijing in 2008, to help alleviate water shortage in this arid northern city.

Water at the Yangtze River will be diverted to Beijing through the middle route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in early 2008, Li Guoying, head of the Yellow River Conservancy Committee under the Ministry of Water Resources, said Tuesday at a press conference.

The Chinese government approved the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in 2002, aiming to relieve severe water shortages in parched northern areas. The project will divert water from the Yangtze River, China's biggest river, to the north through the eastern, middle and western routes. Currently, the eastern and middle routes of the project, with total investment of 200 billion yuan (US$25 billion), are under construction.

The eastern route of the project will divert water from the lower reaches of the Yellow River to north China's Tianjin Municipality and the middle route will carry water from the Yangtze to Beijing, and the western route, not yet in construction, is expected to draw water from the upper reaches of Yangtze to thirsty northwestern areas.

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2006)

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