China stems groundwater overexploitation
Updated: March 22, 2022 06:57 Xinhua

BEIJING — The overexploitation of groundwater has been eased in China in recent years amid the country's efforts to reduce exploitation and increase water replenishment, said the Ministry of Water Resources.

In 2020, the country exploited 89.25 billion cubic meters of groundwater, down 24.2 billion cubic meters from 2012, data from the ministry showed.

In recent years, China's comprehensive management of groundwater overexploitation at the local level has achieved gradual progress, said Yang Derui, an official with the ministry.

In northern China, one of the most water-deficient regions in the country, groundwater exploitation has been curbed by saving water and adjusting the agricultural structure while increasing water supply through multiple channels and replenishing groundwater from rivers and lakes.

At the end of 2021, the overall level of shallow groundwater in the controlled area of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region rose 1.89 meters from the same period of 2018, while that of deep confined water climbed 4.65 meters on average.

Nearly 8 billion cubic meters of groundwater had been replenished by rivers and lakes as of 2021, said the ministry, adding that it will focus on 11 key regions across the country and further strengthen the control of groundwater overexploitation.

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