XI'AN, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Yan'an, a former revolutionary base in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, will receive water diverted from the nearby Yellow River to resolve the city's drinking water shortage.
The water diversion project, which began construction in December 2014, is now almost complete, and Yan'an residents are expected to begin drinking water from the Yellow River at the end of this year or early next year, according to the Yan'an Yellow River Water Diversion Engineering Company.
Yan'an faces a grave water shortage, with the city's per capita water resources standing at 612 cubic meters, only 8.1 percent of the world's average and 29 percent of national average.
However, there are many technical difficulties involved in diverting water from the Yellow River, China's second-longest river, to the city.
As implied by its name, the Yellow River contains a large amount of mud and sand: approximately 25 kilograms per one cubic meter of water. Meanwhile, Yan'an's location on China's Loess Plateau means the project has to pass through areas of higher altitude and complex topography.
Workers have completed 145.8 kilometers of pipe lines, nine tunnels, and set up many pumping stations and supply plants to remove the mud and sand and disinfect the water.
According to Zhang Huiming, chairman of the engineering company, Yan'an residents consume around 80,000 tonnes of water every day. Their water is mainly supplied by Wangyao Reservoir, but the gap between supply and demand is growing.
"The shortage of water resources has become a bottleneck for the sustainable development of Yan'an," said Zhang.
He added that the project will offer an additional more than 60,000 tonnes of water to Yan'an every day, increasing to 100,000 tonnes in the future.