. Earth Science News .

Desalination part of solution for China?
by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Oct 27, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

As China grapples with ever-increasing water shortages, desalination is viewed by the government as part of the solution.

While China represents 20 percent of the world's population, it has just 7 percent of the Earth's fresh water supply.

The Asia Water Project estimates that China's demand for water will increase 63 percent by 2030. Meantime, China falls short by about 50 billion cubic meters of water a year, with two-thirds of its cities suffering various degrees of water shortages.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, speaking at the country's first water conservation conference in July, said the government would step up construction of water facilities, noting that water shortages have impacted "China's economic security, ecological security and national security as the economic and social development and improved livelihoods are facing water strains."

Beijing aims to quadruple production of desalinated water by 2020, from the current level of about 180 million gallons a day to as much as 800 million gallons a day, The New York Times reports.

That would require about 12 more plants like the $4 billion Beijiang Power and Desalination Plant on the Bohai Sea shoreline. Owned by S.D.I.C., a state-run conglomerate, it supplies 10,000 tons of desalted water to the suburb of Tianjin. S.D.I.C. aims to eventually boost production to 180,000 tons.

So far, the facility has experienced flaws in its end product: Because the desalted water is mineral-free, it picks up rust from city pipes and flows from consumers' faucets murky instead of clear. S.D.I.C addressed the issue by adding minerals to the water.

The plant is also losing money, with its desalted water selling for half of what it costs to produce. Still, Beijiang is considered a model to strengthen the country's expertise in desalination.

"If the central government says desalination is going to be a focus area and money should go into desalination technology, then it will," Olivia Jensen, an expert on Chinese water policy and a director at Infrastructure Economics, a Singapore consultancy told the Times.

"The policy drivers are more important than the economic drivers."

Currently less than 60 percent of the desalination equipment and technology used in China's facilities is produced domestically. The Beijiang plant was almost entirely made in Israel, then shipped to Tianjin where it was assembled.

While China perfects its experience in desalination, a number of foreign companies have stepped into China's desalination sector, including Hyflux of Singapore, Toray of Japan, Befesa of Spain, Brack of Israel and ERI of the United States.

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China the culprit of potential water wars?
Beijing (UPI) Oct 25, 2011
Scarcity of water in Asia could become a thorny issue for the region and trigger major conflicts, an expert says. A rise in population, increased water use and the expectation that Asia will be most affected by global warming will affect the availability of water for the world's most populous continent. Of even greater concern, warns Brahma Chellaney, author of "Water: Asia's New ... read more

Nuclear pollution of sea from Fukushima was world's biggest

Looting in Turkey as quake survivors seethe over aid

Teenager saved days after Turkey quake as toll reaches 550

Rice regrets shoe shopping amid Katrina disaster: book

RIM stock suffers on new tablet software stall

Reversing course, Hewlett-Packard to keep PC unit

Video game makers ready barrage of blockbusters

Wearable depth-sensing projection system makes any surface capable of multitouch interaction

Desalination part of solution for China?

US residents say Hawaii's coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per year

Brazil snub to OAS heightens row over dam

Record fine for VI firm caught trading protected coral

Extreme Melting on Greenland Ice Sheet

China's glaciers in meltdown mode: study

Glaciers in China shrinking with warming

Polar bear habitats expected to shrink dramatically:

Hong Kong foodie festival raises wine hub profile

Food Chemical Regulations Rely Heavily on Industry Self-Policing and Lack Transparency

Pastoralists in drought-stricken Kenya receive insurance payouts for massive livestock losses

Magnetic tongue ready to help produce tastier processed foods

Bangkok exodus as floods advance on city centre

Five die in Italy flooding

Rina weakens as it heads for Cancun

Hurricane Rina weakens, holds course for Cancun

700 protest over war pensions in Mozambique

US troops to advise front-line units on Uganda rebels

France denies Somali bombardment, admits helping Kenya

Sudden drop in Somali arrivals in Kenya: UNHCR

World population to hit 10 bln, but 15 bln possible: UN

Study uncovers physiological nature of disgust in politics

Computer scientist cracks mysterious Copiale Cipher

Tracing the first North American hunters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement