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Beijing to see acute water shortage in 2012

(Xinhua)

16:53, April 24, 2012

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Beijing is expected to face a water shortage of 1.3 billion cubic meters in 2012, accounting for a third of the city's annual water usage, according to local water authorities.

The municipal government will work to keep the capital's water consumption within 3.7 billion cubic meters this year, as only 2.4 billion cubic meters will be supplied by local water resources, Cheng Jing, head of the Beijing Water Authority, said Monday.

The gap is expected to be bridged via a combination of measures, including the use of recycled water, water diversion and moderate exploitation of underground water, Cheng said.

Beijing has been plagued by droughts for 13 consecutive years, with its fast-paced economic development and ever-growing population exacerbating the water shortage, according to Cheng.

The available per capita water usage in Beijing has dropped to 100 cubic meters, about one-tenth of the internationally acknowledged warning level.

Local authorities have tightened water management by setting a ceiling for the city's annual water consumption at 4 billion cubic meters by 2015.

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