Beijing to address water woes with supply from Yellow River

16:50, January 24, 2011      

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Starting this year, the Yellow River-to-Beijing Water Diversion Project will be launched to alleviate water shortages in the capital, and it is expected to transfer 300 million cubic meters of water annually, according to the Beijing Water Authority.

Water Authority official says that this year has been the 12th year of an ongoing drought in Beijing, so the amount of available water resources has decreased greatly.

Beijing's two drinking water reservoirs — Guanting Reservoir and Miyun reservoir — together hold a total of 1.2 billion cubic meters of water. Beijing residents require 2.5 billion cubic meters of water each year. Even if both reservoirs were drained completely, it could only provide water for half of Beijing's residents.

The capital's water demand has grown along with Beijing's economic development and population growth. Beijing continues to face a water crisis now that the South-to-North Water Diversion Project's completion has been postponed until 2014.

The annual water shortage in Beijing now stands at 515 million cubic meters. After the water diversion project is completed in 2015, 1 billion cubic meters of water will be transferred every year, but that still leaves a shortage of 190 million cubic meters of water every year in Beijing.

According to the Beijing Water Authority, Beijing will add another reservoir in Hebei from which to transfer water starting this year in addition to four reservoirs in Hebei Province and two reservoirs in Shanxi Province that already supply the capital.

In addition, the city will begin the Yellow River-to-Beijing Water Diversion Project. The water from Hebei Province will be transferred into the Miyun Reservoir, and the water from the Yellow River will be directly transferred to Guanting Reservoir. It is predicted that the project will transfer about 300 million cubic meters of water from Yellow River per year.

By Yan Meng, People's Daily Online


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