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Guizhou to Offer 7 Mln Rural People Potable Water
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Southwest China's Guizhou Province will provide drinkable water to 7 million rural people by 2010, according to the provincial government.

Guizhou Province, suffering a severe shortage of potable water in the rural areas, will give priority to water storage projects and a water-saving drive during the 11th Five-Year Guidelines period (2006-2010).

It plans to launch 1 million irrigation projects by 2010, increasing the per capita irrigation area to 333.4 square meters and ensuring drinkable water for 7 million rural people.

With larger area of karst land, the province is badly short of soil and water on the mountain areas. "Soil is valued as pearl, and water as oil" is a popular saying among locals.

In some needy villages, a large amount of manpower is wasted on carrying water. Drinking unhealthy water also triggers frequent outbreaks of epidemic diseases.

Since 1998, the government has carried out a few projects addressing this problem, including the "drinking water safety project" in the rural areas. During the 10th Five-Year Guidelines period (2001-2005), 6.34 million rural residents in the province benefited from the project, as did their 3.8 million heads of livestock.

(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2006)

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