Chinese premier: water diversion project to start in all-round wayin
east, central China
BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Work on the eastern and central canals of
the south-north water diversion project will start in anall-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 ofthe 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
alongthe eastern canal.
Wen stressed scientific decision-making in the design, contruction 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, middleand 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 willalso be adopted.
On the east canal alone, 24 billion yuan (2.9 billion US dollars) will be
invested in reducing pollution and protecting theenvironment, 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