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China city plans to use seawater to flush toilets
( 2003-08-14 14:42) (Agencies)

Residents of China's famous brewery city of Qingdao will be flushing their toilets with seawater in  the near future.

An area of 800,000 square meters in Laoshan District of the  coastal city in Shandong Province will be plumbed with seawater  pipes later this year as it struggles with a shortage of  freshwater, China Ocean News reports.

The project has a designed annual capacity of 850,000 cubic meters of seawater, the newspaper says.

The Institute of Desalination and Comprehensive Utilization of Seawater under the State Oceanic Administration has made  breakthroughs in seawater purification, disinfection and  biochemical treatment, and specified standards for water quality  and draining, paving the way to use seawater in toilets, says the  report.

"Across China, freshwater is used to flush the toilets, which  accounts for 35 percent of the total volume of water for domestic purposes," Zhang Yushan, an expert in the institute, is quoted as saying.

China's per capita freshwater resources are one quarter of the world's average. Nearly 400 of China's 600-plus cities are short of water, particularly in the more densely populated coastal areas.

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