Seminars raise public awareness on water saving, sponge city construction

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The Luohu water bureau held three seminars on water saving, sponge city construction and orderly drainage in late March to observe the 29th World Water Day, falling on March 22, and the 34th China Water Week March 22-28.

The seminars, open to local residents and students, were designed to help raise the public awareness on saving water, and protecting the water environment.

Luohu aims to become a green development model featuring harmonious co-existence of humans and nature. One of its priorities is to treat, prevent and control water pollution.

"Shenzhen faces a serious lack of water," said Li Zhongsan, an expert on water supply with the Shenzhen Water Group who lectured at the seminars. He urged local residents to realize the importance and urgency of saving water.

He said that water from the Dongjiang River accounted for more than 75 percent of Shenzhen's water consumption. Yet the increase of the city's population meant the gap between supply and demand was expanding.

Luohu has started the project of building a water-saving type of society. So far, it has 93 water-saving residential communities, five water-saving enterprises, and 20 water-saving units.

Guo Lipeng, deputy chief of the Luohu water bureau, called on residents to develop water-saving habits, actively responding to the government's appeal. Guo said now the Luohu district has covered all residential communitieswith drainage pipe networks so that all sanitary sewage can be collected and processed.

"The sponge city concept means the city can store water when it rains for future use," said Song Qiang, deputy head of the Luohu government, at one of the seminars.

Li Xiaojun, an engineer with the Urban Planning & Design Institute of Shenzhen who also delivered a lecture, said: "The building of a sponge city is closely related to people's daily lives. The bricks that can 'drink water' in the pedestrian walkway of Aiguo Road, the little gardens on either side of the gate of Shenzhen Middle School, and the sunken plaza of the Sungang Middle School are all sponge city projects."

So far, only 20 percent of the built-up area of Luohu can be classified as conforming to the sponge city requirements. Last year, the district had another seven sponge city projects and one sponge city industrial park.

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