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China promotes desalination to tackle water shortage

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    10:37, December 19, 2016

[File photo]

China had completed 121 desalination projects as of 2015, purifying over 1 million tons of sea water per day in an effort to tackle the country’s water shortage.

As one of the 12 most water-stressed countries in the world, China’s fresh water only accounts for 8 percent of the world’s total amount. Over 300 cities in China suffer from water shortages, while coastal cities including Shanghai and Shenzhen are in serious need of fresh water. By the end of 2030, coastal cities’ water deficit will reach 21.4 billion cubic meters.

“In addition to water-saving measures and water diversion, China must utilize sea water to tackle its water shortage. Sea water desalination will not be affected by [external factors including] climate change and geographic limitations, allowing the process to constantly and effectively provide fresh water,” said Li Linmei, vice director of the Tianjin-based Institute of Seawater Desalination and Multipurpose Utilization.

According to Li, desalination technologies can not only alleviate water shortages in coastal cities, they can also purify underground water in western China.

China’s desalination technologies have already helped other nations to tackle their own water shortages. According to People’s Daily, China has exported its desalination technology to countries including Indonesia and Pakistan.

Despite China’s own efforts in desalination, the industry still needs further improvement, as the price for purified sea water is between 5 and 8 RMB per ton, which is higher than the price of tap water. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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