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Beijing residents likely to drink desalinized seawater


08:51, March 02, 2012

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Pressure on Beijing's water supply will be eased in the future when the city's residents are given access to desalinized seawater safe for drinking, a senior executive of the company in charge of the metropolis' water supply has said.

A desalinized seawater plant has recently been put into operation in the seaside city of Tangshan, about 260 km southeast of Beijing, Zhou Lingyun, assistant to the president of the Beijing Enterprises Water Group Co. Ltd, told reporters on Wednesday.

"Every day, the plant is able to put out 50,000 tonnes of desalinized seawater, which meets the standards of drinking water," Zhou said.

The daily output capacity will be expanded to 1 million or even 3 million tonnes in the future, he said.

"That will greatly ease the water shortage in Beijing. If the daily output capacity reaches 3 million tonnes, that will meet the daily demand of the city for drinking water," according to Zhou.

Beijing's water shortage has worsened as its permanent population nears 20 million. Official figures suggest the city's per capita water resource availability has dropped to 100 cubic meters a year, or one-tenth of the United Nations' "danger threshold."

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