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US$19 Bln to Enhance Flood Control on Huaihe River
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China plans to invest 155.4 billion yuan (US$19 billion) over the next 20 years to enhance flood control on the Huaihe River, a flood-prone river in east China.


More reservoirs will be built in the upper reaches of the river to control flood, according to a newly completed flood control plan.


Water and soil preservation will also be carried out in those areas.


The plan also includes treating riverways and banks in the middle reaches and enhancing discharging capacities in the lower reaches of the river.


The 1,000-kilometer Huaihe River originates in central China's Henan Province and runs through Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. The areas along the river have a history of both flooding and droughts.


In 2003, heavy floods claimed at least 16 lives and caused the evacuation of more than 400,000 residents, resulting in direct economic losses of 18.17 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) in Anhui, Jiangsu and Henan.


"The 2003 floods exposed problems in the flood control system of the river, such as the slowness in water discharging and low standards of works in treating flooding and water-logging," Qian Min, director of the Huaihe River Water Resources Commission, said.


By the end of last year, nine of the 19 key flood control and water treatment projects for the river, set by the State Council in 1991, had been completed at a cost of 23.9 billion yuan (US$3 billion). Remaining projects are expected to be completed next year.


(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2006)

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