The project is the world’s largest of its kind at an estimated cost of 500 billion yuan, about 77.5 billion U.S. dollars.
It was officially approved by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, in 2002, five decades after late Chairman Mao Zedong came up with the idea.
The first phase of the middle route is designed to deliver an average of 9.5 billion cubic meters of water each year from the Danjiangkou reservoir in central China’s Hubei Province to the northern provinces of Hebei and Henan as well as Beijing and Tianjin, benefiting some 100 million people.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE)JI DONGSHENG, Deputy Director of Water Diversion Office in Xi County, Henan
“Since water diverting through the middle route of the project on Dec. 12 last year, it’s been operating safely and smoothly. Until now, it’s diverted 2.4 billion cubic meters through the head gate.”
In order to guarantee the quality of the diverting water, lots of efforts have been made.