Believe it or not, Dongguan Canal was first built by hundreds of thousands of people in 1957. It was based on an ancient moat surrounding the old city. After six months of hard labor, it was expanded to 19.5 km long with a width of 20 meters, travelling from Dongcheng to Nancheng and ending in the Dongjiang River. Workers, teachers, students, government officials throughout the city, all stopped whatever they were doing and took turns to participate and build this anti-flood project. In 1975, the canal was extended to 103 km, going through 13 towns. In 2004, the canal was extended again to 179 km, travelling across 22 towns, becoming the longest canal in Guangdong in the process. Before the 1980s, the canal even supplied a source of drinking water for the city. Since 2002, the government has invested over one million RMB in the treatment of pollution in this historic canal.