China has achieved a breakthrough in diverting river water to its arid regions,having inaugurated the first phase of a five-decade project to integrate the waters from the mighty Yangtze and Huang He (Yellow) rivers.
Water from the lower reaches of the Yangtze,Asias longest river,flowed through the lower reaches of the Yellow River,marking a milestone in Chinas south-north water diversion project,official media reported.
Yangtze water was expected to reach the Datun reservoir in east Chinas Shandong province,at the northern end of the project,in 72 hours,according to the provincial construction management bureau of the south-to-north water diversion project.
Some 1.5 billion cubic metres of Yangtze water is expected to be sent to Shandong every year after the phase 1 of the eastern route project is fully operational,easing the serious water shortage in the booming province,Xinhua reported. The south-north water diversion project was conceived by Mao Zedong in 1952,and approved by the State Council in December 2002 after debates lasting nearly a half century. The $ 81-billion project has resulted in the relocation of millions of people and triggered global concern.