China water diversion faces pollution control challenge

A year away from the start of a major scheme to divert water from the water-abundant south of China to the arid north, a central Chinese city that is home to a major water source still faces huge challenges in pollution control.

A 370-square-km area in Danjiangkou in the city of Shiyan, Hubei Province, is scheduled to be inundated as of August to store water from the Hanjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze River, the country’s largest.

The Danjiangkou reservoir, the water source of China’s mega south-to-north water diversion project, is expected to supply water through canals and pipelines to the parched northern regions, including Beijing and Tianjin, starting mid 2014.

The inland poverty-stricken city, however, faces fund shortages in fighting pollution in five rivers that flow into the Danjiangkou reservoir as half of local sewage water is discharged untreated.

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