Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and a city of 2.3 million people, saved more than 40 million cubic meters of water last year, equivalent to half a year's household-use water volume of the city, latest statistics show.
The city's planned water consumption last year was more than 100 million cubic meters, but it actually consumed a little more than 60 million, the Urumqi municipal office for water saving said.
The office attributed the achievement to a water-saving drive started last year by the municipal government, calling on building a water-saving city.
The office raised water prices last November in a bid to promote water-saving awareness among the citizens.
In addition, the water authorities called on residents to share their water-saving techniques with others to push the drive further.
Water-saving awareness has been greatly enhanced in the drive, it said.
China, a country that is short of water resources, has a per capita water availability of 2,200 cubic meters, which is about a quarter of the world average, according to China's Ministry of Water Resources.
Nearly two thirds of the country's 660 cities, mostly located in coastal areas, reported water shortages. Ten Chinese provinces are commonly hit by severe water shortages with per capita water availability of less than 500 cubic meters.
(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2006)