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Yellow River Water Released to Thirsty Shandong
A total of 931 million cubic meters of Yellow River water was released in the last five weeks to relieve downstream Shandong Province, which has been struck by one of the severest droughts in recent years.

Li Guoying, head of the Yellow River Water Resources Committee, which is responsible for the distribution of the water in the valley, said the amount was 131 million cubic meters more than the quota ordered by the State Council.

From October 31, the committee would release 800 million cubic meters of water to Tianjin, a municipality in north China that was also suffering from serious drought, he said.

The Yellow River, the water lifeline for the whole north of China, has reported one of the lowest flow rates in the past five decades since July.

By late September, major reservoirs on the river, including Longyangxia, Liujiaxia, Wanjiazhai, Sanmenxia and Xiaolangdi, received 15.7 billion cubic meters of water, 2.5 billion cubic meters less than the same period of last year.

To make it worse, the whole valley has been suffering from severe drought, resulting in a sharp rise in water diversion from the river.

In relieving downstream areas, the committee first discharged 130 million cubic meters of water from the Wanjiazhai reservoir in Shanxi Province to the Xiaolangdi reservoir in downstream Henan Province. The Liujiaxia reservoir in the northwest also released 1.06 billion cubic meters.

In addition, less-developed Ningxia and Inner Mongolia contributed a total of 310 million cubic meters of water from their quota.

(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2002)

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