Friday, January 3, 2014

Water Shortages a Crucial Issue in China

American investor and author Jim Rogers says water shortage is the biggest problem in China. The country's water resources are limited but reuse of water is still insufficient and groundwater is being overexploited, reports ifeng, the financial news site run by Phoenix New Media in Hong Kong.

War, famine, civil war or recession can be overcome but drought cannot; people cannot build a society or a country without water, the investor said during an interview with the media.

China is one of 13 countries with the poorest water resources per capita in the world. Its freshwater resources per capita are only one fourth of the global average. As of the second half of 2005, the country had a water shortage of six billion cubic meters. Around 400 of the 660 cities in the country suffered from various degrees of water shortage. Of which the shortage in 136 cities are severe. The figure for water resources per capita in Beijing is close to those in Arab countries, where water is scarce. The groundwater in half of the cities in the country is also polluted.

However, most people living in the capital have not experienced any water shortage, even though water consumption of the country's agriculture and industries have exceeded other countries significantly. The country's water re-use rate is less than one third that of developed countries.

The issue has been covered by extracting groundwater, which has led to the disappearance of hundreds of lakes and tributaries in the country. Ground surface water in over 50 cities also reportedly sank in level due to groundwater exploitation. Hebei province, where water resources per capita are less than Israel, has overexploited over 60 billion cubic meters of groundwater, half of which has been unable to replenish. Its capital Shijiazhuang is expected to run out of its groundwater in 15 years.

Rogers remains bullish however despite China's water crisis. The issue has been the only thing that concerns him in the country for a long time. China has spent a lot of money to resolve the issue and he is positive that the country will find a solution, Rogers said.

- Source, Want China Times: