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Water Consumption for Per Unit of GDP to Drop 30% in 2010

China's water resources are to be used more efficiently with water consumption for per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) to drop by 30 percent by 2010, according to the nation's water resources meeting held Sunday in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

With its plan to turn itself into a water-efficient society, the country is making substantial efforts to improve water utilization efficiency in farm, industrial and service sectors, said Hu Siyi, vice minister of Water Resources.

China suffers from serious water shortage. Among the 600 Chinese cities, 110 are seriously affected by water shortage, which also include 26 cities along the Yangtze River, China's longest. And the country's freshwater resources amounts to 2,300 cubic meters per capita, only a quarter of the world's average level.

According to the outcome of China's recent water resources assessment, total water volume of the rivers and other water sources in northern China ebbed dramatically by 12 percent while that rose by nearly five percent in southern China.

In the past five years, 320 million people in China's countryside, or 35 percent of the country's rural residents, fail to have safe water supply and up to 385 million 25.6 million hectares of cropland go without irrigation facilities.

(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2006)

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