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  Shandong Province to invest in sea water desalination  

  

 

East China's Shandong Province, a coastal region that suffers from a shortage of fresh water, will invest 3.6 billion yuan over the next four years to build 21 sea water desalination plants.

Once built, the plants will turn out about 140 million cubic meters of fresh water every year, according to a government plan.

Qingdao, Yantai, Binzhou and a few other cities will benefit from the project, according to the plan.

Like many Chinese regions, Shandong is suffering a worsening water shortage, but its 3,024 kilometers of coastline offers the solution of desalinating sea water.

Shandong currently has 16 plants desalinating 32,000 cubic meters of sea water per day, 57 percent of the country's total.

Besides sea water desalination, Shandong is seeking more fresh water through China's mammoth south-to-north water diversion program and the water diversion program of the Yellow River.

The water resources in Shandong meet only one third of the province's demand.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission and some other state-level agencies, desalinated seawater is expected to contribute 16 to 24 percent of the water supply in coastal areas by 2010, with a daily processing capacity of up to 3 million cubic meters in 2020.

China is among the driest countries in the world, and 400 out of 600 Chinese cities suffer from water shortages for domestic and industrial uses.

 

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