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Diversion project delivers water to northern China through eastern route

XinhuaUpdated: April 29, 2019

The eastern route of the south-to-north water diversion project has been put into a trial run to deliver water to north China's Hebei Province and Tianjin Municipality for the first time.

From April 21 to June 15, 63.25 million cubic meters of water is expected to be diverted from the Dongping Lake in Shandong Province, according to sources with the Ministry of Water Resources.

By 8 a.m. Monday, the diverted water had gone through the dock gate of Dongguang County of Cangzhou City in Hebei Province, heading to Tianjin Municipality.

According to the diversion plan, Hebei will be replenished with 17 million cubic meters of water, and Tianjin with 20 million cubic meters.

The diverted water will be mainly used to replace the over-exploited groundwater in Hebei and Tianjin and refill lakes and rivers along the route to improve local water ecology, the ministry said.

China's northern region has long suffered from water shortage, leading to groundwater overexploitation and river water shrinking, especially in Hebei, a drinking-water supplier for neighboring Beijing.

The south-to-north water diversion project, the world's largest, takes water from the Yangtze River to feed dry areas in the north through eastern, middle and western routes.

Since its middle route began operation in 2014, the project has delivered more than 19 billion cubic meters of water to northern cities.