Beijing to expand water quota system to all enterprises in the city

16:40, May 04, 2011      

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In order to promote water conservation, Beijing will expand its strict water quota system to all enterprises in the city in 2011 and 2012, said Cheng Jing, head of the Beijing Water Authority, on May 3.

The city will continue to strengthen water resources management and will phase out private water wells after the South-to-North Water Transfer Project is completed in 2014.

Cheng said that Beijing is now in its 12th consecutive year of drought. In the past five years, the precipitation of the city dropped 20 percent, and the inflow of water into the city's reservoirs fell 70 percent.

The city is seeing a steady decline in the amount of surface water and groundwater, and its water availability per capita is only one-thirteenth of the global average.

Furthermore, the postponement of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project to 2014 has made Beijing’s water crisis even worse. Therefore, all enterprises and individuals in the city have to reduce their water consumption.

The water quota system has been implemented in about 80 percent of the enterprises in Beijing. Under the system, water consumption exceeding the quota will be charged at a higher-than-standard rate. The quota system will be expanded to all enterprises in the city by 2012.

Cheng said that in order to prevent water pipes from bursting, more than 3,000 leak detectors have been deployed in Beijing's water pipe network. The high-tech device will issue a warning immediately after it detects a minor fault in a water pipe, so city workers can fix it in a timely fashion.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), Beijing will gradually replace a large number of old water pipes with new pipes to ensure water quality.

Due to the water shortage, the Beijing municipal government will not start phasing out about 40,000 private water wells in the city until the South-to-North Water Transfer Project is completed in 2014. However, Chen said that the testing and monitoring of water from private wells will be enhanced to make sure that the water is clean and safe.

By People's Daily Online
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