Caowangba's villagers have tap water after the irrigation channels' completion. (Source: Xing Han/China Daily)
But the consequence of inaction was steeper than the vertical precipices the villagers had to reconfigure.
"If we can do something (for progress), we should," Huang Dafa says.
"We shouldn't wait for things to happen. Dozens of years of my life could have passed without anything happening."
So, he and the villagers decided to change things. Even if the odds were stacked against them－as high as a mountain ... or three.
"I was determined to bring water to Caowangba. People have had plenty of food since. Full stomachs mean peace of mind."
But the sacrifices necessary to achieve this included family.
Huang Dafa's daughter and grandson passed away while he was on-site.
"He wasn't home, even when my sister was on her deathbed," recalls his 53-year-old son, Huang Binquan.
"The construction teams wouldn't know how to proceed if he wasn't there."
In the end, it wasn't just water but also a rising quality of life that poured into the village.
Yu Gong and his family, like Huang Dafa and Caowangba's villagers, perhaps show we can move mountains that serve as obstacles through determination－with or without heaven's help.
That is, we can do it on our own if need be.