Beijing listed among world's most water-scarce cities

15:44, May 16, 2011      

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Beijing is now in a state of emergency, with per capita water resources at about 100 cubic meters, far less than the international alarm level of 1,000 cubic meters per head. It is reported that this drought, starting from 1999, has been the longest-lasting and most severe since New China was founded.

Yesterday, on the occasion of the National Week of Water Conservation, the Beijing Water Authority published the current water situation and announced it would carry out a series of activities on a theme of "Improving Water Ecological Environment and Promoting the Use of Recycled Water in Beijing."

Facing the shortage of water resources, the authority has taken a variety of measures to encourage residents to use recycled water, such as keeping the current low price of reclaimed water unchanged at one yuan per cubic meter. In addition, the households that use recycled water will be free of water resource and sewage charges.

The authority said that as of now more than 100 residential communities have been using reclaimed water in toilet flushing. New communities with an annual use of 150 tons of water must be equipped with supply and recycling facilities of reclaimed water.

In 2010, the use of reclaimed water reached 680 million cubic meters, accounting for 19 percent of the city's water supply, up 11 percentage points compared to that of 2005. By 2015, the total volume of reclaimed water is planned to be 1 billion cubic meters.

By Zheng Qingting, People's Daily Online

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