IWA Publishing

The impact of water resource planning on water issues in Beijing, China

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water has become a critically important resource in Beijing. In this study, a systematic analysis of changes in conditions related to water resources in Beijing since 1949 was performed. These include changes in water quantity and quality, water disasters, as well as an analysis of the evolution of water resource planning in Beijing over this period of time. Also, past approaches to urbanization have been looked at to see whether they exacerbated Beijing's water issues. The aggravating water issues were found to be associated with water resource planning in five ways. Water supply and flood protection projects have failed to control the complex water system and have exacerbated water shortages. Excessive project-oriented water diversion efforts and a lack of resource-oriented water conservation have allowed aquatic environments to deteriorate. Water supply planning has been based on demand that has intensified a lowering of the groundwater table. Improper measures that allowed wastewater to be used for irrigation of agricultural soils have aggravated water pollution. In general, water resource planning has not necessarily been conducive to solving water problems; it has even exacerbated Beijing's water crisis. The results and recommendations of this study may serve as a reference for future water resource planning in Beijing.

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