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.
(May 6, 2011) Beijing really is trying to turn its water dilemma around. This Circle of Blue – Reporting the Global Water Crisis spotlight looks at what action the city’s municipal government is taking to reverse the capital’s water crunch but finds, in spite of acting with speed and authority, current measures are not fast or strong enough. Zhang Junfeng, a Beijing-based engineer and environmental activist, who has been researching Beijing’s water crisis for years, tells Circle of Blue the government still doesn’t clearly recognize the true extent of its problem and seems to think that as long as the country’s GDP is growing, the capital “can just buy the water” it needs. Not realizing that without water, hoped-for growth will falter.