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Beijing's underground water level rises 1.94 meters in 2018

China.org.cnUpdated: March 19, 2019

Beijing's underground water level rose 1.94 meters last year to 23.03 meters deep, with the increase in underground water storage totaling 990 million cubic meters, according to the Beijing Water Authority.

Underground water level in China's capital city has been picking up for three years in a row, and in 2018 posted the biggest rise. Among its districts, Pinggu, Miyun, and Huairou saw an increase of 9.17 meters, 6.36 meters, and 3.92 meters in underground water level, respectively.

Since the South-to-North Water Diversion Project started to supply water for Beijing in late 2014, the city's underground water storage has gradually picked up. The water level stopped dropping in 2015, and rose 0.52 meters and 0.26 meters in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

According to historical data, Beijing used to be rich in water resources with many rivers and lakes flowing across the city. In 1960, its underground water level was 3.19 meters deep.

Since 1999, however, underground water storage continued to drop due to years of drought and increasing water demand driven by economic and social development.

The rise in underground water stock in recent years was partly attributed to increased annual rainfall and also more to the water diversion project, which helped to reduce underground water exploitation, said Huang Zhenfang, chief engineer at the municipal hydrometric station.

The city also tries to replenish underground water from various rivers and reservoirs. Last year, a total of 340 million cubic meters of water was directed underground, according to figures from the hydrometric station.

An official with the station said that the rise of underground water level not only alleviates ground subsidence, it also improves underground water quality and helps to restore the city's water system.