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South-to-North Water Diversion helps in poverty reduction

China.org.cnUpdated: March 6, 2018

More than 20,000 people in central China's Hubei province, one of the water sources of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, have been lifted out of poverty due to the close cooperation between governments and companies in Beijing and Hubei province, authorities announced on Feb. 28.

Since coming into operation in late 2014, the project has transferred over 3 billion cubic meters of water from Hubei to Beijing. During peak seasons, as much as 73 percent of Beijing's urban water supply comes from the project, with the water quality meeting with the national Grade II standards, according to the officials.

Water quality is Beijing's top priority in carrying out water diversion project. The government has allocated over 30 percent of the fund in addressing water pollution, constructing ecological barriers around the reservoirs, implementing major ecological conservation and restoration projects along the rivers, and steadily improving the environment and people's livelihoods.

Over the past four years, Beijing has invested 1.07 billion yuan (US$170 million) and launched 360 projects in maintaining the water quality as well as developing featured industry bases in Hubei province. In Danjiangkou reservoir alone, the water source of the project, more than 100 million yuan has been invested to support poverty reduction work in over 20 poverty-stricken villages, lifting more than 20,000 people out of poverty. 

In addition, companies in Beijing have invested over 60 billion yuan to boost industry development in the water source area, involving environmental protection, culture and tourism, solar photovoltaic, wind power, poverty reduction and other 20 areas.

Chen Gang, deputy director of the Office of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project Construction Commission of the State Council, said Beijing and Hubei province have achieved huge progress in carrying out the water diversion project.

"We have realized win-win outcomes in various fields, such as developing the regional economy, improving regional environment, developing featured industries, tapping local human resources, enhancing social services at the community level, and deepening technology exchange," Chen said.

In the future, Beijing and Hubei province will step up efforts in ensuring water quality and the development of the water source area, Chen added.