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China Blueprints Its Major Water Projects

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government and the Ministry of Water Resources program to develop the Tarim River, the longest inland river in China, includes building flood-control dykes, cleaning silt out of the river and laying roads across the Gobi Desert. This is one of Chinaís major water projects outlined in the Tenth Five-year Plan.

Project to Tackle the Tarim River

The Tarim River is the longest inland river in China. To save the disappearing Green Corridor in the riverís lower reaches, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government and the Ministry of Water Resources have drafted a program to tackle Tarim River in the near future. The first phase of the project includes building flood-control dyke and ecological gate, cleaning silt out of the river, laying roads across the Gobi Desert, adopting water-saving irrigation and preserving ecological environment.

South-to-North Water Diversion Project

The South-to-North Water Diversion Project is a strategic solution project for thirsty north China. Altogether 45 billion cubic meters (11.88 trillion gallons) of water will be diverted from the lower, middle and upper reaches of Yangtze River through the eastern, central, and western routes to Huanghuaihai Plain, Jiaodong region and the upper and middle reaches of Yellow River, especially at the areas of north China.

According to the eastern project, water will be diverted from a major branch of Yangtze River near Yangzhou city. It will go through existing river ways to Weishan mountain in Shandong Province. Then through a tunnel across the Yellow River, water can flow to Tianjin city. The trunk line of the whole water line totals 1156 km (718 miles). The West-to-East water transfer project will be built in Dongping Lake south of the Yellow River to transfer water to Jiaodong area with a water line of 700 km (434 miles). The short-term eastern project plans to divert 9 billion cubic meters (2.37 trillion gallons) of water by pumping 500 cubic meters (132 thousand gallons) per second from the Yangtze River.

The central project plans to divert water from Danjiangkou reservoir of the Han River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in its middle reach. New canals will be built near the west edge of the Huanghuaihai Plain to let water flow through Henan and Hebei Provinces to Beijing. The trunk water line totals 1, 267 km (787 miles) in length. Tianjin will draw water from the trunk line near Xushui County in Hebei Province through the 154-km-long (95 miles) canal. The short-term central route project plans to transfer 9.5 billion cubic meters (2.5 trillion gallons) of water.

Nierji Water Control Project on the Nenjiang River

Nierji Water Control Project lies in the middle reach of the Nenjiang River in Heilongjiang Province. It is a comprehensive water control project for flood-control, urban and suburban water supply, power generation, irrigation, shipping and ecological environment water consumption. The reservoir will have a storage capacity of 8.61 billion cubic meters (2.27 trillion gallons) with 2.3 billion cubic meters (607 billion gallons) of flood-control capacity. The power station will have an installed capacity of 250,000 kilowatts. The largest dyke will be some 41.5 meters (25.7 miles) in height. After the project is completed, flood-control ability in Qiqihar city will be improved enough to resist 100-year flood from 50-year flood previously. The upper stream of Qiqihar city could also resist 50-year flood along with substantial improvement of flood-control ability at the down steam of the river.

Zibingpu Water Control Project in Sichuan Province

Zibingpu water project is a water resource distribution project for Dujiangyan irrigation area located in the upper reaches of Minjiang River. The project aims to improve city water use and irrigation along with other benefits such as power generation, flood-control, environmental protection and tourism. The reservoir will have storage capacity of 1.112 billion cubic meters (293 billion gallons) with 774 million cubic meters (204 billion gallons) being effective capacity. The highest dam is 156 meters (511 feet). Its power station has an installed capacity of 760,000 kilowatts. The reservoir, after its completion, will improve ecological water use and enhance flood-control ability in the lower reaches of the Minjiang River and improve irrigation of Dujiangyan area. The reservoir will be able to supply 1.557 billion cubic meters (411 billion gallons) of water for Chengdu cityís industrial and daily use every year.

Shapotou Water Control Project on the Yellow River

The aim of the Yellow River Shapotou water control project is irrigation and power generation. After the project is completed, a dyke will be set up for drawing water so as to improve irrigation and help save water by drawing less 502 million cubic meters (132 billion gallons) water than 1.547 billion cubic meters (408 billion gallons) now.

Baise Water Control Project in Guangxi Province

Baise water control project is 22 km (13 miles) away from Baise city at the upper reach of Youjiang River. It is a comprehensive project mainly for flood-control along with other benefits such as power generation, shipping, and water supply. The reservoir will have a storage capacity of 5.6 billion cubic meters (1.47 trillion gallons) with 1.64 billion cubic meters (433 billion gallons) of flood-control capacity. Its dyke is 130 meters high (426 feet). Following its completion, flood-control ability in Nanning city, the capital of Guangxi Province, will be improved to resist 50-year flood.

Linhuaigang Flood Control Project on the Huaihe River

This significant flood control project is located in the middle reaches of the Huaihe River. The detention reservoir will have a storage capacity of 8.56 billion cubic meters (2.26 trillion gallons). Following its completion, flood-control ability in rivers downstream from Zhengyangguan will be raised to resist 100-year flood.

Zaoshi City Water Control Project in Hunan Province

The Zaoshi city water control project is a comprehensive project designed mainly for flood-control along with other benefits such as power generation, irrigation, shipping, and tourism. The reservoir will have storage capacity of 1.44 billion cubic meters (380 billion gallons) with 780 million cubic meters (206 billion gallons) of flood-control capacity. Its dyke is up to 82 meters (269 feet) in height. The power station will have an installed capacity of 150,000 kilowatts. Following its completion and connection with the Jiangya reservoir, flood-control of Songli Plain will be able to resist 20-year flood. It will be able to irrigate 396 acres more of farmland.

(每日电讯 [Xinhua Daily Telegraph], translated by Alex Xu for china.org.cn February 27, 2002)

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