China's total water consumption would reach the top usable volume of its water resources by 2030, if without effective water saving measures, said Hu Siyi, vice Minister of Water Resources in Hefei, Anhui Province, on Sunday.
Addressing an annual meeting of the Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society, Hu said the country's estimated annual water consumption volume may reach 700 billion to 800 billion cubic meters by 2030, while the country's usable water resources volume will be 800 billion to 900 billion cubic meters at that year.
"If cogent water conservation measures were not taken in time, China would face water crisis at that time," said Hu.
China suffers chronic water shortage in recent years. During the 2001-2005 period, the annual grain output reduced by 35 billion kilograms on average as a result of drought. Water safety of 320 million rural population could not be guaranteed and more than 400 cities suffered inadequate water supply.
In north China, water consumption has exceeded some rivers' bearing capacity.
To reverse this unfavorable trend, China will take legislative, engineering, economic and administrative measures to further save water in future, Hu said.
Beijing has raised its water rates on several occasions to enhance people's awareness on water conservation.
The gigantic south-to-north water diversion project is under construction in a bid to divert water from the country's longest river of Yangtze to water-shortage northern areas.
(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2006)