China to continue efforts to harness Huaihe River: State Council

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- China will further its efforts to harness the Huaihe River over the next five to 10 years in a bid to support the economic development of the regions along the river.

The decision was announced Friday in a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, which was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The work will include upgrading dams and water gates in flood diversion programs and building more irrigation and water conservancy projects in low-lying lands along the Huaihe River, said the statement.

Further, efforts will be made to guard against water pollution and help urban and rural residents in the Huaihe River regions have sufficient access to clean water, it said.

Also, more flood control reservoirs will be constructed, while more residents will be relocated from flood diversion areas as well as flood land.

The cabinet urged government departments to earmark more funds and enhance management and cooperation in implementing these measures.

The 1,000-kilometer Huaihe River, the third longest water way in China, originates from Mount. Taibai, central Henan Province, and runs eastward between the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, the two largest rivers in the country. It cuts through Henan and east China's Anhui and Jiangsu provinces before entering the Yangtze River via the Hongze Lake.

The flood-prone river has a drainage area of about 180,000 square kilometers.

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