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Beijing faces water, power shortages
By Liu li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-30 00:41

Beijing is facing a resource shortage, especially water and electricity.

Ding Xiangyang, director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, said Thursday Beijing's two major reservoirs -- Miyun and Guanting -- received 130 million cubic metres of water during the first half of the year.

However total water usage volume in the same period reached 1.5 billion cubic metres, of which 77 per cent came from ground water, he told the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

In electricity, coal reserves hit a warning limit, he said.

As the electricity usage increases, the gap between demand and supply this summer will reach 400,000 kilowatts.

Meanwhile, usage efficiency in Beijing is comparatively low, Ding said.

Energy consumption for every 10,000 yuan (US$1,200) of gross domestic product in Beijing last year was 1.29 tons of coal, 2.7 times more than the world average.

Meanwhile, the water consumption volume per 10,000 yuan (US$1,200) of industrial output was 14.5 cubic metres, while the figure for the United States and Japan is nine and six respectively, he said.

"Lack of resources has become a major problem Beijing now faces in its economic development."

The Beijing municipal government has decided to adopt effective measures to solve the problem.

"Beijing will continue to adopt the most strict water resource management system," Ding said Thursday.

High-efficiency water saving equipment and technology will be widely used in the capital city and enterprises will be encouraged to reform production lines and technology to recycle water, he said.

For electricity, a layout to adjust electricity usage was adopted this summer in Beijing.

Meanwhile, electricity transmission facilities will be upgraded.

The energy use report was not the only one presented to the city's top legislators.

Yang Xiaochao, director of the Beijing Municipal Audit Bureau, reported on his 2003 audit.

He found no irregularities in most of the donations and government investment in the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which amounted to 1.7 billion yuan (US$203 million).

"No corruption has been found," Yang said.

"But a total of 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million) was not used properly," the official said.

Relevant departments and personnel have been punished, Yang said.

Investment in cultural relics protection was 330 million yuan (US$40 million). He did not find any violations.

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