More than 250,000 farmers and herders in northwest China's Qinghai Province have benefited from a water project that was aimed at providing clean drinking water and improving irrigation for the locals.
Water conservancy authorities in the province invested more than 900 million yuan (142.86 million U.S. dollars) in 2011 into the project, according to Li Jie, a spokesman with the Water Resources Department of Qinghai.
Besides providing clean drinking water, the project also worked on water infrastructure and improved irrigation for over 275,000 mu (18,333 hectares) of farming land.
Zhang Fugui, 72, from the village of Zhangjiacun in Minhe County, said he had been drinking saline water from wells over the past seven decades.
"But now I can drink tap water like an urban citizen," Zhang said.
Located in the east of the world's highest and largest plateau, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau or "the Roof of the World", Qinghai is where the Yangtze River and Yellow River originate, hence of great significance to the ecosystem of downstream regions, experts say.
Li said the water authorities in the province will continue advancing the water facility construction this year and offer safe and clean drinking water for 250,000 more farmers and herders.