Date: May 16, 2011
Reporter: Lai Zhen
Xinhuanet, May 15, 2011, Lai Zhen:
Beijing has found itself desperately in need of water resources yet again. Water per capita has decreased from less than 300 cubic meters a few years ago to 100 cubic meters in more recent years, far less than the internationally recognized standard of 1,000 cubic meters. This makes Beijing’s water crisis one of the most serious in China.
During the 20th National Urban Water Conservation Awareness Week, an event themed “Improve Urban Water Ecology, Promote the Use of Recycled Water” was held in Beijing on May 15. The Beijing Water Authority released the statistics on the current water shortage and called upon all organizations and institutions to use water more efficiently to contribute to a water-saving society.
Since 1999, Beijing has experienced the longest-lasting and the most severe drought in China since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. During this period, the average amount of precipitation was 80% lower than the average for previous years. The amount of usable water has also decreased by 48%. To cope with the serious shortage of water resources, the use of recycled water has intensified.
Recycled water has been part of the annual water resources allocation plans in Beijing since 2003. In 2010, the annual amount of recycled water used reached 680 million cubic meters. Having increased from 8% to 19% of the total water supply, recycled water is now an indispensable water resource in Beijing. To continuously promote and encourage the use of recycled water, Beijing will keep the price at 1 yuan per cubic meter. People using recycled water are exempt from water resources and sewage fees.
Translator: Chongxun Yang
Proofreader: Lucy Chen