China will soon begin to reinforce the embankments along the lower reaches of the Hanjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze River, the country's longest.
The reinforcement project will be the most significant since the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 1949.
A panel of specialists with the Water Resources and Hydraulic Power Designing Institute of the Ministry of Water Resources has studied and approved a feasibility research report on the first phase of the reinforcement project of the Hanjiang River, which joins the Yangtze at Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.
According to the report, a total of 702.7 km of embankments will be reinforced, including 474.3 km of dykes along the mainstream of the Hanjiang River, and 228.4 km of embankments along the Dongjing River, a tributary of the Hanjiang.
The project will take five years to complete and cost 2.38 billion yuan (about US$287 million). The report estimates that a total of 11.9 million residents in 18 counties in Hubei and 781,333 hectares of arable land will benefit from the project.
Once completed, the embankments along the lower reaches of the Hanjiang, together with other existing water control facilities, will be able to help prevent large-scale flooding, such as that which occurred in 1935, and will serve as a flood control safeguard for the Hanjiang River Valleys and for Wuhan, the most important industrial city in central China.
(People's Daily March 5, 2003)