Saturday, February 23, 2008

China's Director of Water Resources Management: "We should learn from Israel"

Xinhua News reports that Gao Erkun, China's Director of Water Resources Management, recently made a study trip to Israel. Faced with a severe water supply challenge, Erkun says that China should learn from Israel on water management.

According to Gao Erkun, "The per capita water resources in Israel is less than 370 cubic meters. A bottle of water is worth four bottles of milk there. The country implements a strict system to use water: all the water resources are monitored and dispensed by the government. With seawater desalination and water pollution treatment, it could meet the society's 700 cubic meters per capita water demand."

China contains roughly 20 percent of the world's population but only 7 percent of global water resources. The per capita water volume is one fourth of the world average. The country also has a severe regional water imbalance, with about four-fifths of the water supply in the south.

Xinhua News says that China is fully aware of the problems and is seeking ways to improve the situation. In its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006 - 2010), the country plans to reduce per unit of GDP water cost by 30 percent and increase its agricultural water efficiency coefficient to 0.5.

Last November it was reported that
Israel expects "to significantly increase" its water technology exports to China over the next few years following a successful round of meetings between National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Chinese water-technology leaders attending WATEC Israel 2007. It was also reported that Israeli company Blue I Technologies will supply real-time water quality control systems for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Xinhua News is the official press agency of the Chinese government.