Edited and Translated by He Xin, People's Daily Online
China will spend a record high of 11.6 billion yuan, equivalent to 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, on construction of Tibet's irrigation and drinking water projects under the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), according to a release from Tibet's Water Resources Department on Tuesday.
The water program will cover 16 categories, including irrigation, drinking water, geological disaster prevention and control as well as hydropower, according to the department.
Upon completion, the water projects will enable all Tibetan farmers and herders to gain access to clean drinking water and more than 90 percent of the region's rural population will have access to electricity.
2011 is a historic year in Tibet's water conservation construction. The central government has made the water project a priority, requiring comprehensive and specified arrangements in this region in the year's No. 1 document.
An amount of 3 billion yuan was allocated for 129 water programs in the first half of the year. Of them, 125 are newly constructed projects covering irrigation and water0saving programs. Another 500 million has been invested in major water control projects so far.
Tibet has the most abundant water resources, with highest water quantity both in terms of the total amount and per capita. The region is also the birthplace for many rivers in China, South Asia and South East Asia.
During the 11th Five-Year Program period (2006-2010), about 7 billion yuan was channeled into the water programs in Tibet, providing 1.62 million farmers and herders with clean drinking water. More than 90 million people in the region had access to electricity.