--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Employ Economics to Control Water Use

Without effective water-conservation measures, China is likely to face a severe crisis following consecutive years of drought, officials and experts warned.


“Building a water-saving society is the best way for China to tackle the problem,” Suo Lisheng, vice-minister of water resources, said during a forum yesterday in Beijing.


“Now Beijing is facing the most severe water supply situation since the founding of New China in 1949,” Suo said.


Traditional water-saving measures are no longer effective. Instead of simply using administrative tools to control water use, as in the past, Suo and other experts suggest using economic means to promote water conservation.


Options include overall planning of water use, pay-for-water systems, and new pricing schedules with different water consumption quotas for different regions, sectors and purposes.


Meanwhile, water recycling, pollution control and water-efficient technology for industries and farming must be further improved to optimize use of the existing water supply.


The ministry has introduced pilot projects in Zhangye, in northwest China’s Gansu Province, Mianyang in southwest China’s Sichuan Province and Dalian, in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.


Nationwide per capita water supply is less than 2,200 cubic meters, or only a quarter of the world average. In northern China’s drought-prone areas, that figure drops to a mere 990 cubic meters.


Nationwide per capita supplies are expected to hit a record low of 1,750 cubic meters in 2030 as the population peaks at an estimated 1.6 billion people. That year, the country’s total water consumption will reach 700 to 800 billion cubic meters, approaching the nation’s total available water.


In a “normal” year, national water shortages amount to about 40 billion cubic meters, with 75 percent of them needed to irrigate farmland. But since 1991, drought has affected more than 27 million hectares of farmland per year, or more than one-fifth of China’s total. The result has been a reduction in grain output of more than 28 billion kilograms.


Today, more than 400 of China’s 660 cities are short of water, and the situation is at the critical stage in more than 100 cities, including Beijing and Tianjin. More than 230 billion yuan (US$27 billion) worth of industrial output is lost every year throughout the country due to water shortages.


China consumed an average of 465 cubic meters of water for each 10,000 yuan (US$1,204) of GDP last year, about four times the world average.


(China Daily June 9, 2004)

China Inefficient in Using Water Resources
Water Price Hikes Expected in Beijing
Certification Pushes Water-efficient Products
Shandong to Use Water More Efficiently with Recycling Tech
Seawater Desalination Possible Answer to Huge Water Shortage
New Beijing Water Agency to Integrate Functions
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688