Harbin takes emergency measures to ease water shortage
Updated: 2005-11-22 20:51
Harbin City in northeast China has taken a series of measures to guarantee
its drinking water supply after an emergency suspension of the city's major
water network for fears of possible pollution on Tuesday.
Customers wait to pay for the drinks at a
super market in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province November
21, 2005. [China Foto Press]
The municipal government of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province started
to use its own water reserve instead of pumping water from its main water
source, the Songhua River, whose upper stream has been contaminated by a leakage
of poisonous substances caused by a chemical plant blast on November 13.
Two residents carry boxes of bottled water in
Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province November 21, 2005. [China
Sources from the Heilongjiang Provincial Center for Disease Prevention and
Control said that 386 wells for spare water reserve in the city are now under
quality inspection, which will be used as alternative sources to ease the water
A local health official said many of the wells have remained spare for a long
time. Only those that can meet the drinking water standards will be pumped for
The municipal government said in two separate statements on Monday and
Tuesday that the city's water supply system will be shut down for four days as
of 8 p.m. Tuesday, for the fear of contamination on the Songhua River.
Bottled water is sold out in almost all
supermarkets and shops as citizens rushed to stock up following the
government announcement about a cut in water supply in Harbin, Northeast
China's Heilongjiang Province. Starting from Tuesday noon, the city's
water supply will be cut off for four days. [China
The unexpected stoppage of water supply has sparked the desperate purchase of
drinking water in the city of 3 million people. Bottled water, various beverages
and even boxed milk were sold out by Tuesday morning in some supermarkets and
The city has purchased 1,500 tons of bottle water from nearby cities to ease
the market shortfall. Meanwhile, Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning
Province has prepared 600 tons of bottle water for Harbin.
Government sources said that daily water supply demand in Harbin is estimated
at 18,600 tons. With the support of neighboring cities in northeast China and
the use of water reserves, the city will help citizens weather the tough times.