The Transfer of the São Francisco River is a large-scale interbasin transfer to the dry sertão, an area fabled for its harsh, dry climate and the toughness of the people who have adapted to it, in the four northeastern states of Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba and Pernambuco in Brazil. The project, which was given the green light to go ahead by Brazil's government in 2005, was initially estimated to cost US$2 billion, having reached US$6billion by now and growing, and is expected to improve the lives of 12m people. The project actually consists of two transfers: The East axis would transfer water to the Paraíba do Norte River, while the North axis would transfer water to the Jaguaribe and Piranhas rivers. The project includes 700 km of canals and tunnels, as well as several dams. It is expected to displace almost a million people and construction is expected to take 20 years to complete.