Beijing Factories Consume Less Water to Produce More

The annual water consumption of Beijing-based industries remained the same while the industries grew at an annual speed of 10 percent over the past two decades.

The rapid growth of municipal industries did not result in increased water consumption, thanks to the readjustment of the industrial structure which started in the 1980s, said Yan Changyuan, a standing committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Beijing Municipal Committee, recently at a symposium on water resources in Beijing, Tianjin and their neighboring province of Hebei.

Beijing, located at the core of the Bohai Economic Rim, has devoted itself to building factories in an attempt to make itself into a productive municipality since 1949 when New China was founded.

Before the 1980s, most of the capital-based industries produce heavy pollution and consume excessive water. The structural readjustment in the 1980s resulted in the creation of some industries that used comparatively less water while new technology were introduced to save water in more factories. Newly opened plants were required to adopt technology that helps conserve water.

Besides, Beijing factories today recycle 84.7 percent of all the water they use, up 36 percentage points compared with that of early 1980s.

The rare early summer heatwave and a long drought in many parts of China has made some cities impose water rationing on residents.

The per capita water resources in the capital are just one-eighth of China's average. And north China has received as little as 10 percent of its usual rainfall this year, lowering reservoirs and aquifers.

Nearly two-thirds of China's 668 cities are facing water shortages in varying degrees, and 100 face serious problems.

Chinese cities have a total annual water shortage of 6 billion cubic meters, while per capita water resources for China is less than one-quarter of the world's average.

People's Daily Online ---