From: Reuters
Published June 8, 2006 12:00 AM

Prototype Toilets Aim to Flush away Beijing Drought

BEIJING — Beijing residents can do their bit to ease the city's severe water shortage problem from the comfort of their toilet seat, according to an exhibition which opened on Wednesday.

The Saving Water Toilet Exhibition for Beijing Olympics Gymnasium showcased a range of prototype urinals, bowls, and traditional Asian crouching platforms aimed at having a more positive impact on the environment.

Beijing is the driest major city in the world and a report last month said it would face severe water shortages during the 2008 Olympics if current levels of consumption were maintained.

"This toilet saves water," said Zheng Qing Zhan, manager of Kuge bathroomware. "Most modern toilets use six litres of water per flush, while this uses a maximum of 3.8 litres and as little as 2.6 litres."

Beijing Olympic organisers have made "Green Olympics" one of their core themes and Zheng's colleague Zhan Chun Guo expected environmentaly friendly toilets to play their part.

"It's important for the Olympics because the athletes and coaches from around the world will see that China is serious in trying to save water and will spread the word," he said.

Also on display was a toilet in which 500 litres of water could be recycled for use for up to six months and facilities that use bacteria to break down the waste into gas and clean water.

Source: Reuters

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