The port city of Tianjin, an economic center in north China, has decided to raise its water price starting from December 1 this year, according to local water resources department.
The price per cubic meter water used by residents will be raised to 3.4 yuan (about 0.4 US dollars) from the current 2.9 yuan, and the price per cubic meter water used by government institutions, industrial, commercial, financing and construction firms will go up to 5.6 yuan from the current 4.4 yuan and 4.6 yuan.
The price of per cubic meter water used by special industries will rise to 20 yuan from the current 18 yuan. The average combined price per cubic meter of water will be 3.9 yuan.
The city held a public hearing on raising the water price on August 26 this year.
Tianjin has the smallest per capita quota of water resources in China. The city's per capita local water resources stand at only 160 cubic meters, or one-fifth of the national average. When adding water diverted from the Yellow River and other water sources, the city's per capita quota of water resources only stands at 370 cubic meters, much lower than the internationally-recognized warning level of 1,000 cubic meters per capita.
To encourage local people to save water, the city will charge the extra amount of used water by two to ten times.
Tianjin has taken a series of measures to save water. Currently, the amount of water used for producing 10,000 yuan (1,200 US dollars) of output value is only 24 cubic meters, or one-third of the national average. More than 86 percent of water for industrial use is recycled.
The daily water supply for household use was 1.517 million cubic meters last year, the lowest among China's big and medium-sized cities. The amount was 2.2 million cubic meters in 1999.
Tianjin is second only to Beijing in terms of the price of water used by residents. The price of per cubic meter water is 3.7yuan in Beijing.