Project to create 28 man-made lakes in Xi'an
Updated: 2012-09-05 02:48
By Ma Lie in Xi'an (China Daily)
An ambitious project to build 28 lakes and a supporting system of waterways will be implemented by the government of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, in an effort to better the city’s environment and living conditions.
According to the Xi'an water bureau, the project aims to protect, renovate, upgrade and build five water-diversion projects, seven wetlands and 10 river systems which will support the establishment of 28 man-made lakes.
"To provide a lush and fresh environment for the city, the project, with an investment of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion), will be completed in the following 10 years," said Yang Li, director of the water bureau.
Construction on 13 of the 28 lakes, covering a total area of 30 square kilometers, has been completed, while the remaining 15 lakes will be built in the coming five to 10 years.
The city of Xi'an suffers from a severe water shortage. The per capita share of water resources is only one-third that of the province and one-sixth that of China.
The city used to have rich water resources, with eight nearby rivers and a number of lakes, when it was the capital of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).
About 2.1 to 2.4 billion cubic meters of water flow from Qinling Mountains, a large mountain range located south of the city every year, while the city’s total water demand is less than 600 million cu m, said Wang Gushi, director of the planning and technology section of the Xi'an water bureau.
"The city’s water shortage is not due to lack of water resources but improper water use," Wang said.
The city will fill the 28 lakes using three different methods including water saving, recycled water, and rain water collection, according to Wang.
Qujiangchi Relics Park, a leisure park with an artificial lake, is a replication of a famous scenic spot from the Tang Dynasty. It opened to the public in June 2008.
Zhang Meiyun, a local resident who often visits the park on the weekend, said: "I am pleased that the beautiful park is free to visit, and I hope the lake building project can provide more places with a nice environment for us."
The project will be jointly funded through the government and private investment, Yang said.
"The government will pay one-third of the total investment for the lake project, and we will attract more investment from other investors," Yang said.
The lake project will increase the value of the surrounding areas, and investors will enjoy profits from the joint development of water and land resources, Yang said.
By the end of 2012, Kunming Lake, the largest of the 15 planned lakes, will be built in the west of the city. Around the new lake, a satellite city designed for a population of 600,000 will be established.