According to Beijing’s bid to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the environmental impact of the Games will be “ecofriendly” and “sustainable”. Experts say otherwise: providing snow for events will be tough in a city where “it just doesn’t snow” and “a Martian-like plan” will be needed to create artificial cover. Conservationists worry about moves to build Olympic ski resorts in national parks and protected nature reserves. Ski resorts, meanwhile, require water and lots of it but Beijing doesn’t have water.
The Chinese government’s $97-billion pledge to clean up the country’s dire water situation has afforded foreign water firms market opportunities typically denied them in the past. Even so, roadblocks still prevail as China continues to put the breaks on importing the international expertise it needs to help with its water recovery.
(May 20, 2011) In addition to natural conditions, the water shortage in Beijing is aggravated by low water prices which do not reflect the scarcity of water resources. Low water prices are equivalent to subsidizing those enterprises which consume more water, says Fu Tao, Director of the Water Policy Research Center at Tsinghua University.
(May 18, 2011) Water depth at Three Gorges Dam stood at 154.8 meters on Tuesday afternoon.
(May 5, 2011) Beijing water authorities have revealed a plan to keep the capital’s wells running until 2014. Meanwhile they will cease offering approval for the development of luxurious bathhouses in order to tackle Beijing’s worsening water supply shortage.
(April 21, 2011) Beijing badly lacks water, but much of the available supply is slurped up by luxury apartments and bottling plants. Friends of Nature researchers have recently drawn attention to the additional drain of the million tons a year pumped into artificial snow machines at 17 skiing facilities around the city.
(March 7, 2007) China has launched an ambitious water-saving plan. But analysts say that if the plan is to be fully implemented, the central government must take effective measures to rein in rampant regional protectionism.
(April 12, 2006) Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji says a growing water shortage is among main problems.
(December 30, 1998) ‘Of China’s 606 cities, two-thirds are seriously short of water. The aquifer level under Beijing is 80 metres down, dropping a metre a year. No one knows how much remains.’