Water Supply

Supplying water to this northern capital has been a problem since the Yuan Dynasty.

Guo Shoujing, a river conservancy expert in the 13th century, mapped out a system of water resources for the area. Originating at Yuquan (Jade Fountain) Hill, water was directed into Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace, then on to the moats around the Imperial Palace. From the moats, it flowed into four man-made lakes: Jishuitan, Shichahai, Beihai and Zhongnanhai. Guo' s system provided water for the populace and allowed grain boats easy access into the city.

Western forces around the turn of the century damaged the canals.

Empress Dowager Cixi invited a German engineer to design Beijing's waterworks in 1908. Not much was developed during the Republican regime or in the period of Japanese occupation.

The waterworks construction began again in 1949. The current annual water requirement in the Beijing area is 4 to 5 billion cubic meters. Further industrial and agricultural development as well as population growth will cause this figure to swell in the coming years. Engineers are working on ways to solve the capital's impending water crisis.

Principal Sites Around the Forbidden City
Major Historical Sites
Tales of Streets and Hutongs
Public Parks and Former Gardens
Places Commemorating Famous People
Museums, Schools and Cultural Institutions
Temples, Mosques and Churches
Scenic Spots on the Suburbs of Beijing
A General Survey of Beijing
Facilities and Infrastructure
Shopping, Eating and Accommodation
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