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|Sunday, October 29, 2000, updated at 09:32(GMT+8)|
Yellow River Has No Dry Patches This Year: Senior OfficialThe Yellow River, dubbed the "mother river" for cradling Chinese civilization, has not had any dry patches during the first ten months of this year, a senior official said Saturday.
Addressing the on-going 18th session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), Wang Shucheng, Minister of Water Resources, said that this is the first time in ten years that no section of the river has had zero flow.
Since the early 1990s, some parts of the river have dried up each year, with the longest period being 226 days in 1997.
Starting from March 1 of 1999, China implemented a water-conservation program covering the whole reaches of the river, consequently, the river was only dry for eight days from March of 1999 to March of this year.
Although severe droughts hit the northern parts of China this year, the river has still had a continuous flow.
"China has scored considerable achievements in water conservation and anti-flood projects relating to major rivers across the country," Wang said.
Wang took for example the water conservation project at the Tai Lake, one of China's five major lakes in prosperous eastern China.
The 4.6 billion-yuan project, starting construction in 1991, played a vital role in combating the severe flooding in the Tai Lake valley for it prevented an expected loss of 9.2 billion yuan (about 1.1 billion U.S. dollars).
The Central Government has invested a total of 99.2 billion yuan (about 11.98 billion U.S. dollars) in water conservancy project over the past three years, Wang revealed.
Wang was not that optimistic about the situation of water conservation in China. Water resource shortages, in particular, are his major concern.
He said that water quality, water shortages and the environment continue to deteriorate in China.
Water shortages have hit 620 cities at or above county level, and 19.7 million people have been affected.
In his report, Wang proposed a series of specific programs combating flooding and water shortages, such as increased investment, rationalizing distribution of water resources, and diverting water from the Yangtze River to the northern parts of the country.
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