Liaoning to close all underground water projects

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Authorities in northeast China's Liaoning Province will shut down all of the region's underground water projects -- except for those used in emergencies -- by 2015 amid efforts to preserve water resources.

According to a plan set by local authorities, 3,796 existing projects will be closed, which will prevent the extraction of more than 1.2 billion cubic meters of underground water, a spokesman with the provincial government said Wednesday, citing a local regulation.

Liaoning has had trouble with water scarcity and its per capita water resources amount to just a third of the national average, while its annual extraction of underground water is greater than most Chinese provinces, the spokesman said.

The excessive extraction of underground water has led to aquifer drainage, water pollution and other environmental issues, he said.

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