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Chinese Cities Fighting Water Shortage

Source: Xinhua News Agency - CEIS

Publication date: 2001-04-15 Arrival time: 2001-04-16

China's largest city of Shanghai has vowed to raise its water recycling rate to more than 80 percent by 2005. An official with the municipal government said the decision is part of the city's efforts to conserve water resources.

According to the official, Shanghai will limit the supply of water to those major enterprises that recycle less than 50 percent of water. More measures will be taken to reduce pollution in rivers like Suzhou and Huangpu, the official said.

A recent survey indicates that Shanghai produces 5.8 million cubic meters of waste water daily, of which only 54 percent is treated.

Nationwide, Chinese cities are facing mounting pressure as the growing population and limited water resources threaten to create severe water shortages.

Official surveys show that the country's water resources per capita are only about 2,300 tons, making up 25 percent of the world average. The United Nations has listed China among the 13 nations in the world with water shortages.

Some 400 of China's 668 cities are facing water shortages, and of the 400, more than 100 are threatened with serious situations.

An increasing number of Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Jinan, have started to tackle the problem.

Last year Beijing issued 26 measures on protecting water resources, including gradually phasing out old-fashioned water taps.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 17, 2001

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