China begins Hebei water diversion project

China is diverting an "emergency supply" of water from the Yellow River to Baiyangdian Lake in northern Hebei province in preparation for the Olympics, state media reported on Wednesday.

It is the second time water has been diverted into the lake, the first being in 2006. The move is needed to guarantee a backup water supply
for the Games in August, the report said.

It is also needed to maintain "ecological balance" in the north China region, it added.

Baiyangdian Lake is the largest natural lake in north China and and is home to important wetlands. But a lack of rainfall in recent years has
meant plummeting water levels.

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