China has launched a two-year program to monitor the ecological environment for a project to divert water from the country's Yangtze River to north China with remote sensing technology.
Wang Zhongfa, vice-director of the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee under the Ministry of Water Resources, said the monitoring program, the first of its kind on the Chinese mainland, would produce accurate information on the ecological environment relating to the project.
The middle route of the diversion project will be launched later this year, while the east route project through east China to Beijing was launched last year.
The water diversion project, known as the middle route project, will divert water from China's south to thirsty north China, and spans about 1,300 km involving seven provinces and municipalities, including Henan Province in the central part of the country and Beijing, north China, said the official.
Remote sensing technology will be used to frequently monitor the quality of water in Danjiangkou Reservoir, the source of the water for diversion, the middle and lower valleys of the Hanjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, and areas the water will be diverted to.
The reservoir embankment, soil erosion, water surface and vegetation in those areas will also be observed, said the official.
He said the monitoring program will enable decision makers to learn of the impact of the project on the environment and its development trend.
Approved in July of this year by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the monitoring project has been listed as part of China's State-funded high-tech program.
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2003)