A 17 year-old state project to supply water to hundreds of thousands of people in Northwest China remains unfinished due to lack of funding, state media reported. Beijing has invested at least US$115m in the project, but the poverty-stricken provinces which are to share some of the operating costs can't pony up the funds. More than 360m rural Chinese lack safe drinking water, while many cities face chronic shortages, senior officials said. China's water shortage will be at its most severe in 2030, when its population is predicted to reach 1.6bn. China's share of water resources is already low supporting 21% of the global population on just 7% of the world's water resources.