Beijing Water

At water’s end

China Online (excerpt from World Bank report)
March 17, 2006

Excerpt from a World Bank report entitled “Action Agenda for Water Sector Strategy for North China”.

The following is excerpted from a recent World Bank report entitled “Action Agenda for Water Sector Strategy for North China”

By The World Bank

In the recent National People’s Conference meeting in February 2001, Premier Zhu Rongji indicated that the lack of water resources was a serious limitation to economic and social development in China. The Premier noted that demand management, including water conservation and a rational pricing system, should be high on the government’s agenda. This statement is highly relevant to the situation in north China—the focus of this study. In fact, nowhere in China are water shortages more evident than in the Yellow (Huang), Hai, and Huai (3-H) river basins. Two out of five people in China live in the 3-H basins, approximately 424 million people. The 3-H basins are the breadbaskets of China, producing 67 percent of China’s wheat, 44 percent of its corn and 72 percent of its millet. The 3-H basins also account for 65 percent of China’s peanuts, 64 percent of its sunflowers, 50 percent of its sesame seeds and 42 percent of its cotton. Forty percent of China’s cultivated area lies within the 3-H basins. The 3-H basins produce 31 percent of China’s gross industrial output value, having only about 10 percent of China’s water resources. Continuing and accelerating growth of population and industry over the past century in China has resulted in increasingly severe problems related to a freshwater shortage, especially in county sub-regions where growth has been greatest. The acute water shortage and pollution problems in north China will soon become unmanageable—with catastrophic consequences for future generations—unless much more significant, comprehensive and sustained commitments are made to apply without delay the strategies and actions needed to bring water resource utilization back into a sustainable balance.

Categories: Beijing Water

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