Chapter 18: China's federal river management - the example of the Han River
Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems
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China is short of water and water resources are unevenly distributed. Southern Chinaís Yangtze River Basin is rich in water resources, northern Chinaís Yellow River Basin possesses 60 per cent of Chinaís landmass, but holds merely 20 per cent of the nationís water resources. To alleviate the northern and northwestern water shortage, the massive South-to-North-Water-Diversion (SNWD) project is being constructed. The project consists of three routes. The East Route Project (ERP) transfers water from the downstream Yangtze River to East Chinaís Shandong Province through the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and other parallel river ways. The West Route Project (WRP) will transfer water from the upstream of the Yangtze River on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the upstream of the Yellow River. Due to its construction difficulties and huge costs, the WRP is still being planned. The Middle Route Project (MRP) diverts water from the Han River, the largest tributary of the Yangtze River, to North Chinaís Henan and Hebei Provinces and Beijing and Tianjin Municipalities. The MRP will commence operations in 2015 and ultimately transfer 9.5 billion m3 annually, benefiting a population of 35 million.

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