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|Thursday, November 02, 2000, updated at 09:21(GMT+8)|
Beijing Raises Water PriceThe Beijing municipal government Wednesday raised the price for water and fees for sewage treatment as part of the solution for water shortages and waste, which have become increasingly severe in the city.
Starting from Wednesday, the water price will increase from 1.3 yuan (0.16 US dollars) to 1.6 yuan (0.19 US dollars) per cubic meter for urban residents, and 1.6 yuan (0.19 US dollars) to 2.4 yuan (0.29 US dollars) per cubic meter for enterprises.
As prescribed by the act, residents also have to pay 0.4 yuan (five cents) per cubic meter of water they use as fees for sewage treatment, up 0.1 yuan (one cent) from before. The fees for non-resident consumers increases from 0.5 yuan (six cents) to 0.8 yuan
(nine cents) per cubic meter.
The act charges even more money for water-consuming industries. To use each cubic meter of water, companies involved in car washing and producing purified drinking water will pay ten yuan, nearly three times as much as before. Bathroom managers are required to pay between five and 30 yuan, due to different scales, for a cubic meter of water used.
Statistics show that the amount of water available per person in Beijing is about 300 cubic meters, which is only one eighth of the national level and one thirtieth of the world level.
At the end of last year, the amount of stored water in the 16 main reservoirs in Beijing shrank 950 million cubic meters from the 1998 level. Guanting and Miyun, the two most important reservoirs, lost 790 million cubic meters of stored water last year.
Including the price-increase act, the Beijing government has implemented 27 water-saving programs, in an attempt to save more than 150 million cubic meters this year.
According to the related departments, similar price-increase acts will be carried out in other regions of China.
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