Middle Route Project (MRP)
The middle Route Project (MRP) for South-to-North Water Transfer will divert water, in the near future, from Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Haijiang, a tributary of Changjiang River, to Beijing City through Canals to be built along Funiu and Taihang Mountains. In the far future, additional water is due to be obtained from Three Gorges Reservoir or the downstream of the dam on main Changjiang. The advantages of this project lie mainly in good quality of the water to be diverted, greater water-supply coverage available, that water can be conveyed by gravity. The project will be an important and basic facility for mitigating the existing crisis of water resources in North China.

It has been already 40 years since the earlier stage study on the MRP started in the early 1950s. In these years, Changjiang Water Resources Commission, and other relative provinces, cities, and departments have performed a lot of investigation, plan, design and research works.

In January 1994, Ministry of Water Resources examined and adopted "Feasibility Study Report on MRP for South-to-North Water Transfer" made out by Changjiang Water Resources Commission, and gave a proposal to build this project to State Planning Commission.
Transferable water quantity and scope of water supply

Based on the completion of Danjiangkou Reservoir extending, mean annual water quantity to be diverted will be 12.0~14.0 billion m3, and 6.2 billion m3 for the dry year (95% guarantee rate). The normal water level of Danjiangkou Reservoir will be at 170.0 m. In accordance with the development level in 2020, some compensative projects will be built on the middle and lower Hanjiang to ensure the development of industry and agriculture, and the navigation and the environment of the water exporting region.

MRP will supply water for Tang bai he Plain, middle and western parts of Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, with a total area of about 155,000 km2. Since the limitation of water quantity in Hanjiang River, MRP can not meet all the requirements of planned water supply areas, only provide water for municipal and industrial use in Beijing, Tianjing Municipalities, and Hebei, Henan, Hubei Provinces, and give consideration to the agriculture and other use of water in some partial areas.

Layout of MRP

The main works of MRP will be composed of two major parts: the engineering structures in water source region and the water conveyance systems. The former includes Danjiangkou Dam Extension Project on the Hanjiang and compensative projects for its middle and lower reaches, and latter includes the main trunk canal for diverting Hanjiang and Tianjin main canal.

1.Engineertng structures in water source region
(1) Danjiangkou Dam Extension Project:
Controlling 60% of the total drainage area of Hanjiang River basin, Danjiangkou Reservoir has a mean annual natural runoff of 40.85 billion m3. Taking account of the development of upper reach, the reservoir was expected to receive a mean annual inflow of 38.54 billion m3.

Based on the engineering scale already in place, it is planned to continue to complete Danjiangkou Project to its final scale, namely, to heighten the dam from its existing crest elevation of 162 m up to176.6 m, with the design storage level raised from 157 m to 170 m and the total storage capacity consequently increased to 29.05 bi1lion m3. This means to gain, as against the initial figures, an additional reservoir storage capacity of 11.6 billion m3, an increased available regulation storage capacity of 8.8 billion m3 and an extra flood control storage capacity of 3.3 billion m3.

The normal storage water level of Danjiangkou Reservoir will be at 170 m in its final configuration, with the additional inundated area of 370 km2. In accordance with the investigation in 1992, the main inundation indices are as follows:

Earth excavation : 300 thousand people
Houses: 7.086 million m2
Cultivated land: 0.01562 million ha

(2) Compensative projects for middle and lower Hanjiang:

To transfer water of more than 14 billion m3 in near future and avoid the available harmful effects on water use for industry, agriculture and navigation in the middle and 1ower Hanjiang Basin, it is required to newly construct Xinglong or NianpanShan Hydraulic Project on Hanjiang as part of the proposed main river canalization project and a water compensating project diverting water from Changjiang to Dongjianghe, and to modify or extend part of the existing sluices and pumping stations, and to build some additional navigation regulating works as well.
2.Water conveyance systems
(1) Main trunk canal
Since the limitation of the location of the existing canal head, Fangcheng Saddle on the watershed between Changjiang and Huaihe Rivers, the range of passing Huanghe, the line of main trunk canal of MRP in the south of Hulanghe is clear. As to the main trunk canal in the north of Huanghe, two alternatives have been compared, utilizing the existing river channels or excavating new canals. In accordance with ensuring water quality and realizing of flowing by gravity in the whole route, the later, excavating new canals, was selected.

The main trunk canal, started at Taocha canal head, passing the 8 km existing channel, northeast along the south side of Funiu Mountain, going through NanYang City and crossing Bait1e River, will enter Huaihe Basin by passing FangCheng saddle on the watershed. Then, through Baofeng County, Yuzhou County, and the west of Xinzheng, the main trunk canal will cross Huanghe at Gubaizui in the northwest of Zhengzhou City, the capital of Henan Province, and extend on the North China Plain between the eastern Taihang Mountain and the western Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, and enter hilly area in Tangxian, and enter Beijing Metropolis by crossing the northern Juma River ,and enter Beijing urban district by crossing Yongding River, and terminate at Yuyuan Pool. The total length of the trunk canal is 1273.72 km.

Tianjin main canal is 140.82 km in total length, from the diversion spot on the main trunk canal in the north of Xiheishan in Xushui County, Hebei Province, to Xihe Sluice of Tianjin.

The design water level at the head of main trunk canal is 147.38 m, and that at termination is 48.57 m. The water diverted can now by gravity along the whole main trunk canal.

The longitudinal gradient of the canal is 1/25000 for the sections in the south of Huanghe and 1/30000-1/15000 for those in the north of Huanghe. For the purpose of seepage control and roughness-reducing, the whole canal will be full section lined all along the route with concrete, cement-treated soil, shotcrete facing and the like in accordance with the foundation conditions.

The design now for the canal is progressively reduced from the south to the north, with water depth decreased from 9.5 m to 3.5 m, and bottom width changed in the range of 56.7 m.

The engineering geologic conditions and major geologic problems along the main trunk canal have been mainly made clear. As for some local engineering geologic troubles relative to bentonite and loess, such as canal slope stability, shock-induced liquefaction failure of sandy soils, earthquake resistance in high earthquake intensity region, subsiding of underlying coal and mined hollow zones, they all can be readily solved and treated by adopting corresponding measures.

Linking up four major river valleys, Changjiang, Huaihe, Huanghe and Haihe, the main trunk canal ( including the Tianjin main canal ) will have to run across 205 rivers, medium or small, each covering a drainage area of over 20 km2, inclusive of the main Huanghe, and 42 railways. It is thus required to build, on the main trunk canal, various structures, large-or small-size, totalling 1774, such as regulating, diversion and tailrace structures as well as tunnels and closed conduits, including 735 canal-crossing highway bridges, the largest in scale of which is Huanghe-crossing Project.

(2) Huanghe-crossing Project

The main trunk canal will cross Huanghe in Gubaizui under the comprehensive planning of Huanghe Basin. Since its complex problems and large scale and investment, the Huanghe-crossing project will be the most critical structure on the trunk canal. Based on the comprehensive Study and comparison among the many alternatives, the aqueduct and the tunnel siphon are technically feasible. Since the tunnelling method can avoid the contradiction to the water conditions and the plan of Huanghe, and the tunnelling method with shield have been a successful experience in domestic and overseas, it was recommended that the alternative of tunnelling at Gubaizui would be adopted in accordance with the canals on both banks.

The tunnels crossing Huanghe will be 7.2 km in total length. For it, the design water diversion now is 500 m3/s. The project includes two tunnels with the internal diameter of 8.5 m.

3. Investment
There are two key factors controlling the construction schedule of MRP. They are Danjiangkou Reservoir resettlement and Huanghe-crossing Project on the main trunk canal.

In accordance with the price level by the end of 2000, the total static investment for MRP equals to about 117 billion yuan.
Benefits of project

MRP will mitigate the crisis of water resources in Beijing Tianjin and North China, and increase irrigated area by 0.6 million ha, 6.4 billion m3 for municipal and industrial water supply, 3.0 billion m3 for agriculture, for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Henan, and significantly improve the biological environment and investment environment of receiving areas, and boost the economic development in Middle China.

Heightening Danjiangkou Dam will increase the ability for flood control of middle and lower Hanjiang and assure the safety of Wuhan City and the plain in the north of Hanjiang.

< TOP >
The Danjiangkou Water Conservancy Project
The head of canal of the MRP-Taocha sluice
A Bkm channel excava:ed downstream of Taocha sluice
Jianghuai divide-Fangcheng saddle-back
Topography of Mancheng Section
Trunk canal-cross sectlon of Yongdinhe River
Topography of the diversion mouth of the Tianjin main canal