The central government plans to spend 1.7 billion yuan (US$249 million) to construct 20,000 new groundwater monitoring wells in its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), Li Wenpeng, general engineer of the China Institute of Geo-Environmental Monitoring, told China Daily yesterday.
Guangdong provincial hydrological surveying workers successfully pumped underground water in Nanzhuang Town of Foshan City on July 23, 2008. The daily exploitation volume is estimated to reach 448,000 cubic meters which can meet the need of 5 million local residents. [Photo: Guangdong Daily News]
The Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Water Resources will cooperate on the construction of the new wells, he said.
Although there are 20,000 monitoring wells currently, most are in disrepair and do not provide precise data, he said.
The decision to build the new wells was reinforced by a Sino-Dutch project entitled Capacity Building of a China Groundwater Information Center which was completed yesterday, he said.
Launched five years ago, the project was undertaken in three pilot groundwater areas in Beijing; Jinan, Shandong Province; and Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Experts from the Netherlands and China built and repaired hundreds of monitoring wells in the three cities to detect water levels, quality and temperatures, and set up a database.
"We chose the Netherlands as our partner due to its leading role in groundwater monitoring and exploitation," Li said.
Wang Min, vice-minister for land and resources, said: "With the help of the Netherlands, we have trained a group of young experts who will contribute a lot in this field in the future ."
(China Daily October 28, 2008)