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|Friday, March 02, 2001, updated at 22:06(GMT+8)|
NPC Deputy Urges Efforts to Turn Urban Sewage into ResourcesA deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, said he will submit a bill to the annual NPC session on faster efforts to turn urban sewage into resources to ease water shortages affecting many cities.
Prof. Zbu Tan, director of the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering of Nankai University based in this manufacturing center, said that 200 Chinese cities are now suffering from water shortages, 40 of them serious ones.
He estimated China's losses resulting from water shortages at 200 billion yuan a year. He said, "I think that water shortage has become a major factor restricting China's economic and social development."
On the other hand, however, Chinese cities discharge a total of 45 billion cubic meters of sewage annually, 90 percent of which is discharged untreated.
Water pollution has, in turn, worsened water shortages, thus forming a vivious cycle, he noted.
"Turning sewage into resources serve multiple purposes and will benefit our future generations," he said.
Treated water can be used to spray urban roads, and irrigate trees, grass and crops, and can be used as industrial cooling water as well.
He said that many countries have opened a new water supply source by turning urban sewage into resources.
He pointed to problems in turning sewage into resources in China, such as the lack of unified leadership and supportive facilities.
To solve the problems, he said that the project to turn sewage into resources should be included in the plan of all regions for comprehensive use of urban water resources, and their plan for unified management and distribution of water resources.
He proposed that in turning sewage into resources, it is necessary to establish a market mechanism, and encourage and attract foreign funds and social funds.
He also called for measures to be taken to encourage enterprises to use recycled water.
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