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Water conservation urged as "Spring City" dries

(Xinhua)

13:21, April 09, 2012

JINAN, April 9 (Xinhua) -- East China's Jinan, known as the "Spring City," has launched a water conservation campaign as its most famous spring comes dangerously close to drying up, local officials said Monday.

The alarm sounded as water levels at Baotu Spring continued to drop in recent weeks to just above a 28.30-meter warning line last Friday, according to Jinan's forestry bureau, which is in charge of spring protection.

Water levels at the site have dropped more than half a meter since late January, the bureau reported. Low rainfall and rising agricultural water consumption have been blamed for the crisis.

The city government has ordered hotels and restaurants to curb their use of water and threatened to fine violators for excessive use, said officials with the municipal water conservation office.

Baotu Spring is regarded as the finest of the 72 springs in Jinan, capital city of Shandong Province. But its spouting began to experience seasonal hiccups in the early 1970s, with two and a half years in which the spring completely dried up for periods. P The problem was only addressed in 2003, when the government adopted a series of measures to cut consumption of water in the city.

Northern and eastern regions of China have long been facing a crisis of water supply amid rapid urbanization and growing demands, with overused underground water dropping to an alarming level in many areas.

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