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China on track to cap water usage below 670b cubic meters by 2020

Updated: Mar 22,2019 3:48 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China is set to achieve its target of keeping national annual water consumption below 670 billion cubic meters by 2020, a senior official said on March 22.

Annual water consumption has been capped below 610 billion cubic meters since 2016, Wei Shanzhong, vice-minister of water resources, said at a news conference.

China has long been worried about a water supply bottleneck that could jeopardize future economic growth, thus leading the government to adopt the strictest water management regulations.

The country has witnessed improved efficiency in water consumption over the years. China’s water consumption per 10,000 yuan ($1,492) of gross domestic product plunged 30 percent in 2017 compared with 2012.

The amount of water consumed for 10,000 yuan of industrial value added plummeted 32.9 percent during the 2012-2017 period.

As China has striven to develop farmland infrastructure, its irrigation efficiency index rose to 0.548 in 2017 from 0.516 in 2012. The index refers to the ratio of the water that is used by crops against the total irrigated water.

Thanks to tougher efforts to crack down on polluters, the quality of water in rivers, lakes and reservoirs also improved, Wei said.