From: Reuters
Published November 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Two-Thirds of China Cities Face Water Shortages

BEIJING — Two-thirds of Chinese cities face water shortages, state media reported on Friday, one of the top problems facing the rapidly urbanising landscape.

More than 400 cities had water shortages, with 100 of them "in serious trouble", lacking enough water to support industry or daily life, the China Daily quoted an unamed official from the Ministry of Water Resources as saying.

The problem was compounded by pollution, with 45 billion tonnes of untreated waste water pumped directly into lakes and rivers, the report said.

Per capita water resources in the world's most populous country are less than a third of the global average, and falling.

The government also predicts 400 million rural residents will move into China's cities in the next 20 years, and the rapid urbanisation is expected to put a further strain on resources.

Already, water levels in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, China's longest, have hit a historic low, and the country is considering massive engineering schemes to divert water to the parched north of the country.

Source: Reuters

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