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To Conserve Water, China Raises Prices

chinaflagThe Chinese capital of Beijing will increase water prices this year as it aims to restrict total water consumption to 3.58 billion cubic meters according to China News Service, reports Reuters.

Cheng Jing, the head of Beijing’s water resources bureau, says the postponement of a project — channeling water to Beijing from the Danjiangkou Dam on the Yangtze River — that would have diverted 1 billion cubic meters of water a year to the capital has resulted in the conservation measures, according to Reuters. The project has been delayed until 2014 due to environmental concerns.

Scarce water supplies in Northern China have worsened due to industrialization, wasteful irrigation projects and the pollution of underground water tables throughout the region, reports Reuters.

According to a recent CERES report, too few businesses and investors are taking into consideration the potential for economic upheaval if water resources become as scarce as predicted.

As part of China’s strategy to encourage industrial companies to become more energy and water efficient, Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Co., Ltd. has selected GE Water, a business unit of GE Energy, to design and construct a high-efficiency onsite water reclamation plant at the company’s Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) facility that is expected to save 4.38 million tons per year of potable water.

By efficiently reusing its wastewater, Secco will be able to expand its petrochemical production capacity without the cost of acquiring additional fresh water, according to GE Water. The treatment plant is expected to begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In other environmental news for China, the United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to China this year to promote sales of U.S. clean energy goods and to discuss environmental protection and climate change, reports Reuters.

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