China’s efforts to improve urban water conservation pay off

A photo taken on Aug.20, 2020 shows a “sponge parking lot” in Rugao, east China’s Jiangsu Province. [People’s Daily Online/Wu Shujian]

From 2012 to 2020, Chinese cities saved 45.3 billion cubic meters of water, five times the amount transferred each year through China’s South-North Water Diversion Project, according to statistics. published by the country’s Ministry of Housing and Town Planning. -Rural development (MOHURD).

In China, urban water consumption is only about 10% of the total volume consumed, but it supports 60% of the country’s population and contributes more than 70% of its GDP.

China is making recycled water a “second source” of urban water consumption. Last year, 14.6 billion cubic meters of recycled water were consumed in urban areas of the country, quadrupling from 2012 and accounting for 23.2% of total urban water supply.

In recent years, water conservation has been seen as a priority by Chinese cities in their work related to water consumption, as they strive to build an urban water system in which the water supply, water treatment and water security are interconnected.

From a smelly ditch to a beautifully clear canal, the Liangmahe River in Beijing’s Chaoyang District has taken on a new look.

The clear water comes from a nearby water harvesting plant, said Zhao Tan, director of the Beijing Water Conservation Bureau, adding that the water for irrigation on both sides of the river. is also recovered.

A MOHURD official said local authorities across China have accelerated the upgrading of poor water supply systems and improved management capacity. As a result, the leak rate from urban water supply pipes is steadily declining, the official said.

In the factory of a cement factory in Yichang, in Hubei province, in central China, there is a huge pond. “The rains and rinse water stored in the pond are turned into clean water after recycling, and sent to the mixing plant for production via pipelines,” said a company executive. About 80% of the company’s water consumption is recycled, reducing costs by more than 400,000 yuan ($ 62,183) each year, he said.

In recent years, the concept of the sponge city has been gradually infused into the urban planning, construction and management of many cities in China, in order to improve their ability to use, regulate and absorb rainfall. For example, hardened roads are replaced with permeable cobblestones, while sod canals and sunken grass belts are built to store rainfall for tree irrigation.

By the end of 2020, more than 40,000 sponge city construction projects had been completed, which can use 350 million tonnes of precipitation on an annual basis.

In addition, China is also actively building water efficient cities and promoting water conservation methods and ideas in communities to shape a green development model and way of life. So far, 130 cities across the country have been classified as water efficient cities. Representing 58.5% of total urban water consumption, these cities will forcefully advance water conservation in Chinese urban areas.

The project of the fourth phase of a sewage treatment plant in Xinbei District, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, east China, is officially accepted on October 28, 2020. The treated water in The plant can meet the Class IV standard for surface water, which means it is applicable to industrial and entertainment aquatic areas which are not directly affected by human bodies. The photo shows an artificial wetland in the plant which is capable of treating 40,000 tonnes of tail water per day. [People’s Daily Online/Xia Chenxi]

China's efforts to improve urban water conservation pay off
Students from an elementary school in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, northern China, join a water conservation activity held at the Inner Mongolia Natural History Museum on 21 March 2021. [People’s Daily Online/Wang Zheng]

(Source: People’s Daily Online)

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