Water conservation improvements in the capital city of Beijing have made headway recently. Channels to divert water from the Yangtze River to the country's thirsty north have been laid out, said an official from the project’s Beijing construction office. The main pipeline is going to traverse the city’s Fourth-Ring Road, under the ground, and finally empty into Tuancheng Lake -- the outlying part of the Summer Palace’s Kunming Lake.
Meanwhile, at the Sino-Britain Urban Water Environment Seminar recently held in Beijing, Xiang Wenjuan, a professor from the Beijing Municipal Water Conservancy Planning and Designing Research Institute, announced a new series of plans to improve the capital’s water situation.
According to sources from the Beijing office, the water channels for the Beijing section of huge diversion project are planned to start from the middle reaches of the Juma River, pass the Nanquanshui, Dashi and Yongding rivers, enter the city, traverse the Fourth-Ring Road, under the ground, and finally arrive at Tuancheng Lake, stretching a total distance of 80 kilometers (50 miles). Once completed, the Miyun Reservoir will no longer be the only drinking water resource for the city’s residents. The water diverted from the south will satisfy residential water consumption and part of the city’s industrial water requirements. Substituted water resource will then be used to facilitate urban environmental construction. According to the water conservancy scheme, “By 2005, Beijing will complete 44 new ecological and forest parks and lakes, enlarging the city’s water surface area by twice the current volume,” said an official from the office.
The newly-developed water conservancy plans point out that by 2005, Beijing will build 16 sewage treatment plants and 14 with deep treatment capabilities in urban and rural areas, and Beijing Waterworks No.10 in urban area. The plans are expected to help provide 800 million cubic meters more water during rainy seasons, partly addressing the city’s the water shortage problems. However, in years of low water supply, the city will still face water shortages of some 700 million cubic meters, a figure which will increase annually. However, once completed, the south-to-north water diversion project will radically improve the problem, with annual net diverted water reaching 1 billion cubic meters.
Recently, the project to divert water from the Yangtze River to the arid north, costing an estimated 486 billion yuan (about US$59 billion), was officially launched with the approval of the State Council.
(china.org.cn translated by Zhang Tingting, January 1, 2003)