BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Large-scale water supply projects are expected to cover 54 percent of China's rural population by the end of this year, the Ministry of Water Resources said on Thursday.
The coverage of the projects, which aim to integrate urban and rural water supply and standardize water services, stood at 52 percent in rural areas by end-2021.
In the first quarter of this year, China's investment in the construction of rural water supply projects amounted to 15.4 billion yuan (about 2.34 billion U.S. dollars), which helped to improve the water supply for 4.29 million rural residents.
Tap-water coverage in China's rural areas will reach 85 percent as of the end of 2022, up 1 percentage point from the end of 2021, data from the ministry showed.
Currently, there are still weak links in water supply in parts of China's rural areas, due to factors including complex water distribution and unbalanced and inadequate regional development.
In 2022, China will make solid efforts on facilitating the large-scale construction of rural water supply projects and renovation of small water facilities to achieve coordinated development of urban and rural water supply, said Xu Dezhi, an official with the ministry.
Around 3.07 billion yuan from the central government budget will be channeled into the maintenance of rural water supply facilities this year, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, Xu said. ■