China's Ministry of Construction has urged cities nationwide to take tougher measures aiming for more efficient use of water.
In a circular on the upcoming nationwide urban water saving publicity week, the ministry said all the cities should complete the repair of obsolete water pipes by the end of 2007.
City authorities should also act quickly to draft their water saving plans for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period, which give priority to water use efficiency and treatment of wastewater, the ministry said.
City authorities should use price lever to encourage water saving, the ministry said. This could be pursued by adjusting the price of water, or imposing charges on water pollution to raise fund for building more sewage treatment plants.
Policies shall be made to encourage the use of recycled water or desalinated sea water in agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors by providing financial support or tax debate, the ministry said.
City authorities are also urged to strengthen the enforcement of water saving standards in manufacturing and construction sectors. For example, new buildings shall be required to use equipment and devices that conforms to water-saving standards.
This year's water-saving publicity week will be held between May 14-20, with the theme of promoting the using of recycled water.
(Xinhua News Agency April 13, 2006)