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Beijing receives 4.5B cubic meters of water from S. China

China.org.cnUpdated: April 23, 2019

The amount of water diverted to Beijing from the Yangtze River crossed the mark of 4.5 billion cubic meters at 5:06 p.m. Thursday, according to reports.

Over 3 billion cubic meters of the total from the South-to-North Water Diversion Project was used as drinking water, and the water quality reportedly remained at drinkable levels, benefiting over 12 million Beijing residents.

Meanwhile, another 1.1 billion cubic meters of water was deposited in large and medium-sized reservoirs and as emergency water sources. The rest replenished rivers and lakes in the downtown area.

The water from the project has greatly increased the total amount of water resources in Beijing and guaranteed its urban water supply. 

At present, eight water supply plants in Beijing receive the water from the south and provide it to downtown Beijing and other districts like Daxing, Mentougou, Changping, and Tongzhou.

Starting in April, the downtown area has been supplied with approximately 3 million cubic meters of water every day on average, of which around 2.2 million cubic meters were diverted from the south, accounting for more than 70% of the urban tap water supply.

Since the end of 2014, Beijing has significantly reduced the extraction of its underground water and carried out a large-scale project to replace wells excavated by factories, mines, and universities with municipal tap water. These moves have effectively promoted the conservation and recovery of the city's underground water and curbed the excessive extraction.

With these efforts, the underground water level in the plain areas of the city rebounded in 2016, and reached 23.03 meters deep by the end of 2018.

The city also stepped up efforts for the strategic reserve of water resources. With the water from the south, the outflow water of Miyun Reservoir, a major source of Beijing's drinking water, reduced over 500 million cubic meters each year.

On this basis, with 446 million cubic meters of water from the south stored in the reservoir as well as abundant rainfall and upland water, the reservoir witnessed a steady increase of its water resources and a constant expansion of its water surface. At present, the amount of water in the reservoir is more than 2.5 billion cubic meters.