Beijing stresses water conservation




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BEIJING  |  2015-01-12 20:37:27


Beijing stresses

water conservation


By Guan Guifeng, Zhou Yan and Li Laifang



Amid the pressures of sustained drought and climbing water prices, the mindset of think before people flush is sweeping across Beijing.

Eight months after a major price hike in May, household water consumption has declined by 0.17 cubic meters daily, an average drop of 2 liters per person, according to latest figures released by Beijing Waterworks Group.

If this trend continues, Beijing residents will hopefully save 10 million cubic meters of water a year.

Spurred by May’s price hike, many families have taken to recycling water, such as reusing laundry water to flush the toilet or to mop the floor. While others have installed new water tanks to reduce the amount of water used per flush.

Meanwhile, the authorities are promoting water-saving practices among major commercial consumers.

Car washes, bath houses and golf courses are now all required to use recycled water, Beijing water authority said in a press release on Monday of January 12.

For example, newly installed water recycling facilities at car washes limit the amount of water used to clean a sedan car to only 10 liters from at least 70 liters in the past, it said.

“All of our waste water is pooled, and then filtered and processed to be used again,” said Cao Jinghui, manager of a car wash in Xicheng District.

As a result, one tonne of water lasts at least 10 days, whereas previously it would have been used up in two days, he said.

Even in the suburban area of Pinggu District, the recycling of water at car washes is mandatory. The local water bureau supplies every car wash with recycled water, which it delivers by water tank truck. This is expected to cut annual water consumption by at least 20,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, around 60 unauthorized car washes have been shut down, cutting the number of car washes in the city to 1,530.

Beijing’s per capita water volume is 150 cubic meters, a third of which is provided by the south-to-north water diversion project, which began supplying water to the capital last month.

This volume, however, is still far behind the world average.

In response to its prevalent water shortages, Beijing last year brought in a tiered pricing system.

Presently, the lowest tier price is 5 yuan per cubic meter for households with annual consumption of less than 180 cubic meters. This lowest tier covers 90 percent of all households.

Households with annual water consumption between 180 and 260 cubic meters are charged 7 yuan per cubic meter, while those that use more than 260 cubic meters a year must pay 9 yuan.

Meanwhile, industries must pay 8.15 yuan per cubic meter.

The price for major water consumers — such as purified water plants, car washes and bath houses, as well as golf courses and ski resorts — is 160 yuan per cubic meter.









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