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China faces a growing water crisis


05-16-2015 04:42 BJT

Full coverage: Special Series: Half Empty

China is one of the most water-rich countries in the world. But because of its huge expanding population and rapid economic development, the country is facing a growing water crisis. 

Data for 2013 showed that the available water resources per person per year was just 21-hundred cubic metres - that's around a quarter of the global average. 

But the bigger problem is that China's water resources are very unevenly distributed, and overwhelmingly concentrated in the south. Southern China is home to around 80 percent of the country's naturally available water -- one of the reasons behind the huge South - North water diversion project.

Water scarcity has long been a problem for northern China, but shortages have reached crisis levels in some cities, including the Capital Beijing... where annual water supply is less than 100 cubic meters per person. That's 10 times lower than the international warning threshold, and one-fortieth of the world average. The figures put Beijing in the unenviable position of being drier than some Middle-East countries.

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