BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- The middle and eastern routes of China's South-to-North Water Diversion Project have transferred over 50 billion cubic meters of water to the north of the country as of 11 p.m. Friday, official data shows.
The project has benefited 140 million people and optimized the economic development patterns of more than 40 large and medium-sized cities. It has changed the water supply pattern of northern China and improved the ecosystems of rivers and lakes in water-receiving areas, according to a Ministry of Water Resources official.
The middle route will provide safe water resources for the hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, the company in charge of the project has said.
The South-to-North Water Diversion Project has three routes. The middle route, the most prominent of the three due to its role in feeding water to the nation's capital, begins at the Danjiangkou Reservoir in central China's Hubei Province and runs through Henan and Hebei before reaching Beijing and Tianjin. It began supplying water in December 2014.
The eastern route began operations in November 2013, transferring water from east China's Jiangsu Province to areas including Tianjin and Shandong.
The western route is in the planning stage and has yet to be built. ■