Published: Thursday 15 June 2000

imageThe municipal authorities of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, have given top priority to upgrading the urban infrastructure and protecting the surrounding environment during the next 30 years.

Xi'an Mayor Feng Xuchu said a key aspect of the plan calls for 26 water conservancy projects that will cost a total of US $987 million in an effort to end the city's water shortage. Xi'an was recently in news because of water shortage. In 1996, one-third of the city's residents did not have sufficient water to drink during one particularly long drought.

Statistics show that the total recoverable reserves of underground water in Xi'an's urban and rural areas is only 1.55 billion cubic metres. But at present the amount of water needed is 1.77 cubic metres. In 1989, local government launched a project to draw water from Heihe River. The project brought water into the city in 1997 and local residents have had a larger water supply since then.

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