East China's Jiangsu
Province is working on a long-term project to extend all of its
urban water supply systems to the rural areas to give villagers
access to clean drinking water.
On Tuesday, Vice Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing said that
extending urban water-supply pipelines to the rural areas would
also help control exploitation of ground water.
In addition, Qiu said, paying for water use will contribute to
rural people's awareness of the need to conserve resources. The
fees would also help to speed rural water supply system
The province first launched its urban-rural water supply network
project three years ago, in the southern cities of Suzhou, Wuxi and
Changzhou. The three cities began expanding their water supply
plant capacities and extending pipes to towns and villages that had
no ability to produce safe water for domestic and industrial
By 2003, the three cities were pumping water to more than 211
towns and 2,379 villages, providing safe water to more than 5.6
million people, or 69.8 percent of the region's total rural
Nationwide, only 19.6 percent of villages have access to water
that meets national standards.
Deputy Director Wang Xiang, of the Jiangsu Province Construction
Department said that the province is now launching its second
urban-rural water supply project, which covers five cities in
southern and eastern Jiangsu. Plans are being drafted for the third
project, to cover the northern portion of the province.
Qiu Baoxing says that similar urban-rural water systems will
gradually come into use in other parts of China.
(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2004)