Translated by Three Gorges Probe
October 2, 2008
The following is a translation of an article that appeared on the Hebei Water Resources Bureau’s website describing the controversial water transfer project that will transport 300 million cubic metres of water from drought-stricken Hebei province to Beijing.
Hebei Water Resources Bureau website
On Sept 18, the Chinese government started transferring water from Hebei’s three reservoirs—Gangnan, Huangbizhuang and Wangkuai—to Beijing’s Tuanchenghu Lake in an effort to ease water problems in Beijing because of years of drought and lack of water supply.
The Ministry of Water Resources, the National Development and Reform Commission and the South-North Water Transfer Office of the State Council coordinated and organized the transfer and the governments of Beijing and Hebei signed a water transfer agreement after several sessions of discussion and negotiation.
This is an emergency water transfer from Hebei to Beijing, despite the fact that the province (of Hebei) is facing an extreme water shortage. Owing to continuous drought in recent years, the water situation in the capital Beijing is grim and water sources are quite strained. Both the party commission and government of Hebei attached importance to the event and tried everything possible to guarantee a supply of water to Beijing by taking all possible measures of water conservancy within the province.
The task: a total of 300 million cubic metres will be transferred to Beijing—200 million from both Gangnan and Huangbizhuang combined and 100 million from Wangkuai.
The water transfer schedule:
From Sept 18 2008 to Mar 10, 2009, 174 days in total: Huangbizhuang—from Sept 18 2008 to Jan 13 2009 and Wangkuai—from Jan 13 to Mar 10, 2009.
The requirement is at least Category III and above; all three reservoirs in Hebei are Category II and above.
China’s Water Quality Standards*
|Category I||Applies to water sources and national nature reserves|
|Category II||Applies to class A water source protection areas for centralized drinking water supply, sanctuaries for rare fish species and spawning grounds for fish and shrimp|
|Category III||Applies to class B water source protection areas for centralized water supply, sanctuaries for common fish species and swimming zones|
|Category IV||Applies to water bodies for general industrial water supply and recreational waters in which there is no direct human contact with water|
|Category V||Applies to water bodies for agricultural water supply and for general landscape requirements|
|Category V+||Not to be used|
*Chart taken from Probe International’s report “Beijing’s Water Crisis: 1949 -2008 Olympics”
Categories: Beijing Water