Chinese geologists have for the first time tapped into a fresh drinking water source from a 300-meter-deep seabed near the coastline of east China's Zhejiang Province.
In a freshwater exploration program costing nearly 20 million yuan (US$2.74 million) in Shengsi County of the Zhoushan Islands, one of China's biggest fishery ports, a team of 20 geologists retrieved freshwater from three water-containing layers under the seabed, the China Land and Resources News reported on Tuesday.
The freshwater ascertained could easily supply residents living on islands surrounding Shengsi, the newspaper said.
A geologist estimated the first water-containing layer could produce at least 10,000 cubic meters of drinking water daily. An even bigger resource was in the third layer, with a daily supply of 80,000 cubic meters. The water could be consumed after processing, the newspaper said. Scientific data indicated the Shengsi Islands chain was a stretch of the mainland that might have underground rivers.
"This first success in digging for freshwater from the seabed has encouraged us to find other supplies from under other offshore islands," a scientist told the newspaper.
China has 18,000 kilometers of coastline and more than 5,000 islands. Freshwater supply for those islands, particularly the smaller ones with tiny populations, was usually transported from the mainland, a costly process that was constantly affected by weather conditions.
(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2007)