Water conservation top priority for nation's capital

Updated: 2014-12-17 19:52

By Zheng Jinran and Wang Qian(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Water conservation top priority for nation's capital
A staff member of the Beijing Waterworks Group shows off a bottle of untreated water and a bottle of water purified by membrane-ultrafiltration technology. [Photo/China Daily]

Beijing's municipal waterworks has promised that it will continue to take efforts to manage and conserve water resources in the water-strapped capital, a spokesperson for the waterworks plant said on Wednesday.

Currently the capital's water needs have led it to divert resources from 1,400 kilometers away. Due to increasing usage, water conservation has become a top priority

Every year, Beijing can conserve as much as 78 million cubic meters of drinking water, said Liang Li, spokeswoman for Beijing Waterworks Group, the water supplier for the capital's downtown areas.

The amount of water conserved equals 31 days' supply based on the average daily supply in 2013, or around 2.5 million cubic meters per day, Liang said, adding that it highlights the positive results from the ongoing conservation efforts.

The group has introduced advanced tools and management methods to locate the leaking parts of the underground water network and adjust the water pressures based on demands during day and night.

"After the arid capital receives the extra water through the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, we will continue to promote all the efforts to guarantee the efficient use of precious water resources," Liang said.

Many officials voiced their support for water conservation.

Jiang Xuguang, deputy director of the Office of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project Commission, the country's largest water transfer project, called on people in the regions receiving the project's water to treasure and save water, using the water wisely.

"Hundreds of thousands of people sacrifice and work for the project to alleviate water shortage in the arid north and making scientific use of the water is crucial for the country's sustainable development," Jiang said.

He added such large project cannot avoid environmental impacts in the southern region, but the impacts are controllable.

"The annual volume of the water diverted by the project is only 4 percent of the total volume flowing in the Yangtze River every year, when the percentage is 30 percent, the impacts will be out of control," Jiang said.

Xia Qing, researcher with Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, said due to the arid conditions, northern China should reduce pumping groundwater and recover the environment.