Beijing will invest 315 million yuan (about US$38 million) in 2004 to renovate its water supply networks in a bid to improve water quality and supply networks in the municipality, which faces severe shortages.
Beijing Waterworks Group Co. Ltd. announced Thursday that 137 million yuan (US$16.5 million) of the investment will be used for the renewal and extension of the water supply networks in service, as well as for the construction of networks at the Olympic Center, which houses most of the sports grounds and gymnasiums for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Per capita water resources in Beijing stands at 300 cubic meters, about one eighth of the national average, and one thirtieth of the world average.
Even after the completion of China's south-north water diversion project, which will bring water from the Yangtze River to Beijing, per capita water resources in the city would remain below 400 cubic meters, said Wang Weicheng, deputy director of the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress.
The Chinese capital city has been reporting excessive use of groundwater reserves over the last five years.
To cope with the water shortage, Beijing also encourages the use of recycled water and tries to keep the general public known about the situation of water resources in the city so as to help them increase their awareness of the urgent need to save water.
(Xinhua News Agency April 2, 2004)