WUHAN, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Central China's Hubei Province has closed 134 large-scale farms to protect the water source for China's south-to-north water diversion project, local authorities said Monday.
In July 2016, Shiyan City, home to Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Hanjiang River, one of the water sources of the water diversion project, divided the city's livestock and poultry farming areas into three classes: banned areas, restricted feeding areas and feeding areas.
In the banned areas, livestock and poultry farms are not allowed to be built or expanded.
All 134 large-scale farms in banned areas were closed or relocated by the end of July, according to the city government.
So far, the water quality of Danjiangkou Reservoir has been determined to be normal, stable and to meet standards.
The water diversion project, the world's largest at an estimated cost of 500 billion yuan (about 82 billion U.S. dollars), is designed to take water from China's longest river, the Yangtze, through eastern, middle and western routes to feed dry areas in the north.
It was officially approved by the State Council, China's cabinet, in 2002, 50 years after late Chinese leader Mao Zedong came up with the idea.
The middle route begins at Danjiangkou Reservoir and runs 1,432 km. It can supply 9.5 billion cubic meters of water per year on average for some 100 million people in the dry northern regions, including Beijing and Tianjin cities, as well as Henan and Hebei provinces.