East China's Anhui Province has launched a huge project to harness Wohe river, the second biggest branch of Huaihe River.
Measuring 396 km, Wohe flows through the central Henan and Anhui provinces and converges into Huaihe River in the county of Huaiyuan.
Wu Cunrong, director of Anhui Water Conservancy Department, Friday said China has never systematically harnessed Wohe River.
The growing population and developing economy in the areas aside Wohe brings about water shortage and the deterioration of the river's environment, the official said.
The official said the State Council has allocated 1.3 billion yuan (US$158 million) to harness the branch.
The money will be spent on sub-projects including dredging the waterways, constructing the ship locks and sluices and building the flood proof establishment. The project is due to complete in 2008.
Wu said the project will dramatically increase Wohe's anti-flood strength and help to optimize its environment.
(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2005)