Preliminary consensus emerges on starting western route of water diversion project

After seven decades of survey and planning, a preliminary consensus has emerged on commencing the western route of China's massive South-North Water Diversion Project, according to the China South-to-North Water Diversion Cooperation.

Relevant parties involved in the project have reached the consensus on launching a water diversion program with a capacity of 4 billion cubic meters as the first phase of the route, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Currently, they have also essentially had consensus on the necessity, importance, and urgency of the route, it said.

Initiated in the 1950s, the South-North Water Diversion Project, which diverts water from the Yangtze River Basin to the drought-prone north, consists of three routes.

As the most prominent of the three, due to its role in bringing water to the capital, the first phase of the middle route began supplying the region with water in December, 2014.

The first phase of the eastern route, which serves Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, began operation in November 2013.

The western route remains in the planning stage. According to the Yellow River Conservancy Commission, the first survey for the route was launched in 1952.

The western route is an important part of the national water network and also a major strategic measure to promote environmental protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin, the China South-to-North Water Diversion Cooperation said.

It is also a fundamental solution to address water shortage in the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River, and is of great significance for the security of water, economy, energy, food and ecology, it said.

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