Archive for the ‘rationing’ Category

China to strengthen water control in light of shortage

February 14, 2009

China will tighten water resources management and take measures to reduce waste to cope with worsening water shortage, Water Resources Minister Chen Lei said here Saturday.

Water shortage impelled us take into consideration of overall economic and social development and economical use of water resources to ensure sustainable economic and social development, Chen said at a national conference in Guilin, in southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

GUILIN, (Guangxi), Feb. 14 (Xinhua)

China is planning to reduce water consumption per unit of GDP to 125 cubic meters by 2020, down 60 percent from now, Chen said. 

Water consumption averaged 229 cubic meters per 10,000 yuan worth of products, according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) at the end of 2008. That figure was down 10 percent compared with the previous year.

Statistics released Saturday showed the country lacked 40 billion cubic meters of water every year, with almost two thirds of cities suffering various levels of water shortages.

More than 200 million rural people face drinking water shortages.

At the same time, farmland stricken by drought reached 230 million mu (15.3 million hectares) every year, nearly 13 percent of the total farming area.

The most severe drought in half a century, which is hitting China this spring, affected 111 million mu of crops so far, with 4.68 million people and 2.49 million livestock threatened by water shortages, according to official statistics from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

“We must take strict measures to preserve water resources in the face of the severe lack of water worsened by factors such as overuse, pollution and drought ,” Chen said.

The ministry also expected to increase 79.5 billion cubic meters of water resources by 2020 and secure water supplies for both urban and rural people.

Chen proposed reinforcement of laws and regulations on water allocation, consumption and preservation as a fundamental way to achieve this goal.

Mexico City braces for water rationing

January 31, 2009
Supplies will be cut or reduced to homes in many areas of the capital this weekend, making a scarce resource even scarcer. ‘We are running out of water,’ an official said.
By Tracy Wilkinson
Los Angeles Times
January 30, 2009
Reporting from Mexico City — Already-scarce water gets even scarcer this weekend for millions of Mexicans.

One of the world’s largest cities is launching a rationing plan in a drastic — and some say overdue — effort to conserve water after rampant development, mismanagement and reduced rainfall caused supplies to drop to dangerously low levels.

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Related from CNN:

More than 80 pct of China’s coastal waters polluted

 Thirsty Beijing awash in water woes

California Water Crisis Signals Warning for Other States

December 6, 2008

A drought that’s lasted only two years is creating serious problems in this nation’s most populous state. And other Western states, including Idaho, had better take notice of the simple fact that if we don’t increase water storage, we are putting our food supply and our economy in jeopardy.

If the drought in California continues until spring, water officials there are planning to ration municipal water deliveries and dry up as much as 200,000 acres of farmland. Compounding California’s problem is a recent federal court ruling that limits pumping of water out of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta in order to protect an endangered fish, the smelt. Sound familiar?

To sum up California’s problem, the state ranks No. 1 in population with over 37 million people and No. 1 in value of agricultural output at $36.6 billion in 2007. At the present time, there’s not enough water to supply both of those demands. So water managers’ options include first, pray for rain and make plans to dry up farmland, and second, ration water to cities and encourage people to conserve by limiting lawn watering and other activities.

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By Paul Eakens
Long Beach Press-Telegram

As drought continues to tax the state’s water supply, water officials from around California gathered this week in Long Beach to contemplate the challenges ahead.

During the Association of California Water Agencies conference, which began Tuesday and ends today at the Long Beach Convention Center, one panel discussion Thursday reflected the polarizing debate over how to address the crisis.

Four panelists from rural water districts made clear the differences between their views on water conservation and those of urban officials.

Long Beach has led Southern California in conserving water use through public outreach and rules for outdoor water use. On Thursday, local water officials announced that the city’s water demand in November set a record 10-year low, falling 12.1 percent below the historical 10-year average and 7.9 percent below November 2007.

State water allocations are expected to be 15percent of what water agencies had hoped for in 2009.

While the four panelists generally agreed that water conservation is needed, they debated how best to implement it and disagreed on creating explicit local or state mandates.

Chris Kapheim of the Alta Irrigation District near Fresno said urban and agricultural water needs differ.

“One size that fits all clearly doesn’t work in California,” Kapheim said.

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