Supermarkets divert bottled water supplies to Wuxi

By Xu Xiaomin and Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-02 10:33

Cities in the Yangtze Delta are being mobilised to relieve the shortage of drinkable water in Wuxi.

Since May 30, huge amounts of water have been delivered to Wuxi's supermarkets, largely from Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing.

A sales manager surnamed Hong from the Shanghai Limpid Drinking Water Co Ltd, said sales had increased tenfold in the past two days.

Major retailers in Shanghai like Carrefour, Lotus, Hualian and Lianhua supermarkets are supplying water to Wuxi, where natural water supplies have been tainted by pungent blue-green algae.

Carrefour Shanghai has sent extra bottled water to Wuxi since Tuesday night. Every day since then, an average of 10,000 cases of bottled water have been delivered to Carrefour's two outlets in Wuxi.

The store has even put on more security staff to maintain public order.

"We already asked Carrefour in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces to transport water to Wuxi, and we will mobilize the other branches around the country if necessary," Li Jing, PR manager of Carrefour Shanghai Office, said.

All the retailers and producers promised not to profiteer from the water crisis.

"Actually, we have discounted water by 10 percent for Wuxi residents," Li said.

Limpid said it was offering discounts on big packages of bottled water. A 5-litre bottle of Limpid water is being sold in Wuxi for 5.7 yuan, its usual price about 6.3 yuan.

Retailers said Wuxi's huge demand for water would not jeopardize supplies in Shanghai market.

Wuxi's water quality supervisor said the foul water had not affected other nearby cities.

Ouyang Tianjun, a spokesman with Shanghai's water administration said Shanghai's main source of fresh water was from Huangpu River and Yangtze River, which are flowing quickly.

Blue-green algae is more common in still water. "In addition, it is raining today (June 1) in the Yangtze Delta which will help relieve the consistence of blue-green algae," he said.

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