Beijing has adequate water for Olympics

July 13th, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 13 (Xinhua) Beijing has more than enough water to meet demand over the Olympics, despite suffering years of drought, a senior official of the Beijing Water Bureau has said. “Beijing has combined all water resources, including reservoirs, underground water and rainfall, to ensure the supply for the Olympics,” said the bureau’s head of publicity, Yu Yaping.

Guanting and Miyun, the two largest of Beijing’s 85 reservoirs, were holding more than one billion cubic metres of water.

“Normally, one person would only use 3 cubic meters of water a month,” Yu said. “Even if two million people come in August for the Olympics, they wouldn’t consume more than 6 million cubic meters of water. It wouldn’t cause a water shortage when we have more than one billion cubic meters of reserves.”

Last year, Beijing’s daily tap water supply stood at 2.48 million cubic meters, or 74 million a month, and it had increased to 2.93 million.

After nine years of drought, Beijing had made water saving a primary task. In 2000, the city used 4 billion cubic meters of water, but last year, it used 3.4 billion cubic meters, a saving of almost 100 million cubic meters a year.

In 2007, it used 480 million cubic meters of recycled water, or 14 percent of the total water supply, to supplement watercourses, wash cars and irrigate crops.

The government had diverted 156 million cubic meters of water from the Yellow River, the country’s second longest, to refill the northern area’s largest freshwater lake, Baiyangdian, as its headwaters were used for emergency reservoirs.

Three of the lake’s upstream reservoirs in Baoding City of Hebei — Wangkuai, Xidayang and Angezhuang — provided 300 million cubic meters in contingency supplies for Beijing.

“Beijing has no plans to divert water from neighbouring cities during the Games. We are confident of ensuring the supply with our own capacity,” Yu said.

In addition to surface and underground water, Beijing has built 600 rainwater collection pools. “These pools can hold 60 million cubic meters of rainwater. There has been a lot of rain this year, which will ease the situation,” Yu said.

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