Despite seeing only three-quarters of its usual rainfall so far this year, Beijing has enough water to ensure things will flow smoothly, officials are saying.
|A boy shields himself from the searing heat that reached 37 C yesterday in Beijing as the city's weather bureau issued an orange alert to warn residents of the hot weather. A lack of rainfall has placed tremendous pressure on the city's water supply. [Wang Jing/China Daily]|
So far this year, the city has had 32.6 cm of rain, 26 percent less than it typically sees in the same period, said Bi Xiaogang, spokesman and deputy director of Beijing municipal bureau of water affairs.
Miyun reservoir in the northeast and Guanting reservoir in the northwest - Beijing's two major reservoirs - have seen 30 percent and 36 percent less rain respectively, he said.
Ironically, many Beijingers were under the impression the city has seen more rain than usual this year.
"I think this year's rain is more frequent and much more heavy than last year," said Zhang Zhi, a Beijinger who lives in Dongcheng district.
Song Hui, a research institute staffer in Haidian district, agreed, saying: "I saw rain every two or three days during the past month, which has brought down the summer temperature a lot."
Experts explained that while rain fell heavily on parts of the downtown at times, it did not always soak other areas.
"The capital hasn't yet seen a citywide rainfall all summer long, so residents who live in different districts may feel differently," said Sun Jisong, chief weatherman with the Beijing meteorological bureau.
"The government has begun to transfer water from three emergency water reserves in Changping, Huairou and Pinggu districts to the city," said Bi. "It has also transferred 300 million cu m of water from neighboring Hebei province."
Authorities will also step up the extraction of underground water supplies and the use of recycled water, he said.
In addition, it plans to build more rain-collection facilities and find ways to conserve water through efficient irrigation.
(China Daily August 13, 2009)