China built nearly 30,000 new water cellars last year to ease water shortages in the country's poor and arid areas, sources with All-China Women's Federation said on Thursday.
Seven years ago, the federation and the China Women Development Fund launched a national charity known as "Mother's Water Cellar". The project now provides readily accessible drinking water for about 1.1 million people in rural China.
In China's northwestern regions, the annual precipitation is about 300 millimeters, only half the nation's average. Building cellars to collect rainwater has been a long-standing practice. A decent water cellar that costs around 1,000 yuan (US$125) can guarantee enough drinking water for an entire family.
China has pledged to build a water-saving society and curb water pollution as parts of the country experience water shortages and a possible water crisis, while other regions enjoy soaring economic growth.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2007)