U.S. Water News Online
BEIJING, China -- Beijing will raise water prices by about
20% in 2005 to discourage residents from wasting water and ease
"serious" shortages in the Chinese capital, state media said.
The average price of water for residential use will rise from five
per cubic meter to six yuan next year, the Xinhua news agency said.
The hike is the third in the past couple of years and prices are
expected to keep rising, Xinhua cited the Beijing Waterworks Group
Ltd. as saying. Last year prices rose more than a third to four yuan.
This year, the price grew to about five yuan.
It is hoped that by paying more, people will become more aware of
the value of water and the need to conserve it, the agency said.
The city of about 13 million people is predicted to face a water
shortfall of up to one billion cubic meters by the time it hosts the
first Olympic Games in China in 2008.
The situation could become so severe that it impedes economic
growth in the capital, state media said.
High demand combined with low supply, a poor infrastructure and
lack of public awareness are blamed for shortages, officials said.
In 40% of China's urban cities, at least 12% of the water supply
is lost due to pipeline leakage and excessive use, Jia Danbing, a
deputy of China's legislature was quoted by Xinhua saying.
He was among those who urged the government to take immediate
action, such as raising the water price, to encourage people to save
water, and to encourage a wider use of water saving devices.
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