Beijing Water

Environmental group petitions Beijing government for stronger water regulations

Probe International
June 8, 2010

On Saturday, Friends of Nature (FON)—China’s oldest environmental organization—hosted a Conference for the release of their survey on public opinion regarding Beijing’s ongoing water crisis. As part of the conference, FON also issued a petition to the government, calling for urgent action from officials to help increase the city’s water-use efficiency and reduce pollution.

In particular, the petition calls for drastic measures to increase the rate of sewage and wastewater treatment, including shutting down institutions that are unable to meet stringent effluent standards.

Environmentalists are especially concerned that Beijing is pumping out more groundwater than can be replenished through precipitation. So FON is calling on the government to ramp up the recycling of water and the smart use of rainfall and floodwaters to ease pressure on the city’s groundwater aquifers, which are fast disappearing.

Friends of Nature also calls on the government to release water quality and quantity data regularly, as it already does with air quality, to promote public awareness of the crisis. FON has offered to help the government accomplish this.

The FON petition also endorses a step metering system that charges users a higher rate per unit of water as they use more. The petition also suggests absolute caps on some water uses to eliminate or restrict luxury uses of water.

Read the petition here.

Read Probe International’s story on the important figures from the recent survey.

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