Projects optimizing water allocation, such as the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, should be made full use of to address the overexploitation of groundwater in North China, said Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua.
Hu made the remarks while inspecting water conservation work in Tianjin municipality and Hebei province on May 23-24.
Such efforts are aimed at improving water ecology and safety, along with providing solid water resources for the integrated development of the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei region, said the vice-premier.
Hu visited water conservation projects in Jinghai district of Tianjin and Cangzhou city of Hebei and inspected the trial run of the north extension of the first phase of the eastern line of South-to-North Water Diversion Project.
He was also told of improvements in water ecosystem in areas where groundwater has been overexploited.
The vice-premier urged speeding up the construction of the north extension project to help tackle groundwater overexploitation in North China.
He also said water conservation should come first and be followed by water diversion.
Efforts should be made to promote water-saving technologies, curb the development of high-water-consumption industries, and moderately reduce the planting of high-water-consumption crops, all with the aim of cutting down on groundwater overexploitation, he said.