North China's Tianjin Municipality will start providing desalinated seawater for home use and drinking this month to ease the city's water shortage, a company official said Thursday.
Seawater desalination plant in Tianjin [File photo]
The first stage of the seawater desalination project, the nation's largest to date, had been completed, said Guo Qigang, general manager of Tianjin Beijiang Power Plant, which is in charge of the project.
It was processing 100,000 tonnes of water a day and the water quality was undergoing tests.
The second stage of the project was expected to be completed by December next year, taking the total desalination volume to 200,000 tonnes a day, or a quarter of the city's daily water consumption, Guo said on a seminar on seawater utilization.
Tianjin has one of the most acute water shortages in China. It has launched several projects to divert water from the Yellow and Luanhe rivers into the city for domestic use, but its per capita quota of water resources stands at just 370 cubic meters, much lower than the internationally-recognized warning level of 1,000 cubic meters per capita.
More than 400 of China's 600 cities are short of water.
Seawater desalination was an effective measure to ease the shortages, Sang Guowei, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at the seminar.
Tianjin Beijiang Power Plant, with total investment of 26 billion yuan (3.82 billion U.S. dollars), has undertaken the trial project of China's recycling economy, which consists of power generation, seawater desalination, sea salt production and waste resource reuse.