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Saving urban water

By Cang Lide ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-07-11 09:46:03

Saving urban water 

It is a relatively new city on the Chinese landscape, and it had its share of teething problems in its rapid evolution from farmland community to industrial hub. Cang Lide looks at the eco-salvage solutions in Shenzhen.

The Futian River runs through the heart of bustling Shenzhen, a Guangdong city that shares a boundary with Hong Kong and is the province's shining example of urban planning.

A walk along its banks is a refreshing experience. The air is pure and fresh, ionized by rippling brooks and gently splashing waterfall walls. Trees of varied heights break up the skyscraper-defined skyline, and the banks and slopes are landscaped with bushes, flowers and grass, with sections of wetland vegetation nestled in the curves of the river.

Pedestrians stroll along the walkways by the river, gazing into the clear waters as tiny fish dart among the pebbles. The occasional fishermen hides in a few choice corners, pulling in catches of freshwater fishes such as carp and perch.

It's a weekday, but we see parents playing with their children, young people cycling, and people walking their dogs. It seems like a scene out of the idyllic countryside but we are actually in downtown Shenzhen.

It is hard to imagine that this is the heart of such a highly industrialized metropolis, especially when so many major cities in China are suffering the ravages of habitat pollution.

Water, especially water management, has become a major concern throughout the country - along with problems in waste treatment, contamination in rivers and the water table and the deterioration of the environment.

Not so long ago, Shenzhen was in the same woeful state.

After 30 years of breathtaking growth, this former fishing and farming village has grown into one of the most densely populated cities in the world - with 14 million people living in a space of 1,952 sq km. By 2000, all of its water sources were contaminated.

Related:

The transformation of the Futian River

It took three years from 2008 to 2011 to fully complete the eco-salvage of the Futian River, including planning and all civil engineering work. More...

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