China / Society

Water from south not enough for Beijing

(ECNS) Updated: 2014-05-15 15:42

An official at the Beijing Water Authority said on Thursday that the project to divert water from the Yangtze River to Beijing can improve the capital's water security, but it won't solve the problem of water scarcity, as the city faces a water shortage of 1.5 billion cubic meters, the Beijing Youth Daily observed on Thursday.

According to the water-transfer project, a total of 1.05 billion cubic meters of water from the Yangtze River will be channeled to Beijing every year starting from October 2014, which will help relieve Beijing's water shortage. However, the program is far from enough to solve the water scarcity crisis.

As a megacity that has continuously suffered from rainfall shortage since 1999, Beijing has no more than 100 cubic meters of water for each of its inhabitants a year.

Statistics show that the capital's annual average volume of water consumption stands at 3.6 billion cubic meters, while only a total of 2.1 billion cubic meters of water resources can be mustered every year.

To bridge the gap, local policymakers have taken measures including exploiting underground water and reducing ecological and agricultural water use.

However, some of these measures have caused environmental deterioration. The overexploitation of underground water has contributed to land subsidence and other ecological damage, according to the official.

By phasing out water consumption enterprises and lowering industrial water use, local policymakers have managed to save a total of one billion cubic meters of water in the past eight years starting from 2006, the official added.

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