BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Beijing residents will have access to water from the Yangtze River within 30 months, as the first-stage construction of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project's central route is expected to be completed in October 2014, an official said Friday.
Yangtze River water will reach the northern province of Shandong in December 2013 when the initial stage of the project's eastern route is finished, according to Zhang Ye, deputy head of the project office under the State Council.
Zhang called for efforts to complete construction on time to benefit the people.
The massive water transfer project is designed to take water from China's largest river, the Yangtze, to the country's arid northern regions. Water will flow northward via three routes -- an eastern route, a central route and a western route.
The central channel is from Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han river, a tributary of the Yangtze River, to Beijing.
China has invested 141.7 billion yuan (22.49 billion U.S. dollars) in the project since 2002.