China / Society

Desalted seawater to quench Beijing's thirst

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-17 03:00

SHIJIAZHUANG - Construction of a desalination project that will deliver purified seawater to Beijing from neighboring Hebei province's coast will start at the end of the year, local authorities announced on Wednesday.

The project will be in Caofeidian, the second largest port in Hebei, with a daily desalination capacity of one million tonnes of seawater, said Wang Xiaoshui, director with the seawater desalination department of the Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd..

After the project goes into operation in 2019, Beijing will receive more than 300 million cubic meters of desalted Bohai seawater annually, about 10 percent of its current water consumption volume.

"Beijing residents will be able to enjoy desalted seawater," said Wang.

The project will include a desalination facility and a 270 km-long pipeline extending to Beijing.

The cost of each would be 7 billion yuan ($1.13 billion) and 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) respectively.

Caofeidian, an islet 220 kilometers east of Beijing in Bohai Bay, has high water quality, said Wang.

In March 2012, a pilot program was launched to daily deliver 50,000 tonnes of desalted seawater to Caofeidian.

Tests showed all drinking water national standards have been met.

The group also plans another desalination project with a daily processing capacity of 3 million tonnes to meet the capital's demand.

Annual desalted water to Beijing will increase to more than 1 billion cubic meters, equaling the storage capacity of Miyun Reservoir, the largest storage facility in north China and Beijing's major water source.

Beijing has only 100 cubic meters of water available per person locally, or one-tenth of the United Nations' "danger threshold".

The city diverts water from nine sources, including reservoirs in nearby provinces of Hebei and Shanxi, as well as from the city's outskirts.

Hot Topics