Home / Opinion / Editorials

Vision for saving water

China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-29 07:11

Saving and protecting water resources and promoting ecological protection were the themes of this year's China Water Week, which ended on Thursday.

China faces a daunting water situation, since its per capita fresh water resources are only about one-fourth of the world's average and its usable water resources per capita are only 900 cubic meters.

More than 400 cities have a deficiency of water and more than 110 of them face serious water shortages. What makes the situation even worse is the heavy pollution that has contaminated water resources; most of the cities have groundwater pollution to different degrees. The recent heavy metal pollution of rice in Hunan province was caused by polluted water.

Apart from the deficiency of water resources, a lack of vision many years ago is also to blame for the increasingly serious water shortage and pollution, as not enough thought was given to water conservation, sewage treatment, the collection of rainwater and forest coverage.

Despite the building of sewage treatment plants in many cities in recent years, it is difficult and costly to incorporate new sewage treatment systems into the old water facilities. As a result, the efficient use of sewage treatment facilities and the reasonable and adequate utilization of treated water remain a hard nut to crack since very few cities have pipes installed for all families to use treated water to flush their toilets and even for watering plants. And a lack of rainwater collection facilities allows precious rainwater to flow away.

The central authorities have designated urbanization as a major engine of economic growth in the years to come, but they need to ensure that enough attention is paid to the planning of water facilities, which should be a priority in urban planning.

It may be costly to include water conservation, the protection of drinking water sources, the effective treatment of sewage and efficient use of treated water as well as the collection of rainwater in urban planning, but it will be even more costly when we realize a decade later that the lack of water threatens our existence and we have to make up for what we failed to do 10 years earlier.

Policymakers and urban planners need a vision for the future on this issue.

(China Daily 03/29/2013 page8)

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349