CHINA / Regional

Beijing's new efforts to fight water wastage
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-16 07:32

Extensive checks are being carried out on luxury sectors in Beijing, such as golf courses, saunas and car washing services, to crack down on water wastage.

The initiative, which started yesterday, comes as the city experiences its worst drought in the past seven years.

The checks are designed to calculate water consumption in these sectors, so that authorities can determine rational uses of water, according to Yu Yaping, a spokesman with the Beijing Water Authority.

Yu said they would impose fines of up to 10,000 yuan (US$1,250) on enterprises and public institutions that are later deemed to be wasting water.

According to Yu, enterprises and public institutions in the luxury sectors will face additional charges for supplies if their annual comsumptions are more than 100,000 tons.

Yu said the authority has also signed agreements with those with annual water consumptions of more than 1 million tons to cut down any wastage.

Enterprises and public institutions are being urged to replace outdated facilities that do little to conserve water by the end of June. Retail outlets will also be banned from selling outdated water-related equipment.

Yu said the total amount of recycled water used in the city would reach 360 million tons this year and at least 300 car washes would be using recycled water. In addition, at least 300 devices to collect rainwater will be built in the coming months across the city.

"Our goal is that by the end of this year, 80 per cent of the city's households will have water-saving facilities," Yu said.

In rural areas, 20,000 hectares of farmland will be equipped with water-saving irrigation devices and 13,300 hectares will be irrigated by recycled water this year.

In the past four months, Beijing has received only 9 mm of rainfall, a year-on-year reduction of 72 per cent.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Water Resources, Beijing has per capita water resources of less than 300 tons, about 13 per cent of the national average.