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Shanghai to Measure Social, Economic Development by Water Usage

Shanghai has added water consumption to energy use as a compulsory index in reviewing economic and social development in a bid to improve the efficiency of water use.

A municipal government document on water efficiency sets a target of 105 cu m of water used for every 10,000 yuan of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010.

Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Water Affairs figures show consumption for every 10,000 yuan of GDP was 238 cu m in 2000, falling to 125 cu m last year, a 48 percent decrease which is below the national average.

The city would work harder to improve efficiency in the next five years, said Shen Yiyun, deputy director of the bureau.

"Industries will be the key sector for economizing water use," said Shen. "Water-efficient industries will be encouraged by raising awareness of water-saving technologies and equipment."

However, wasteful industries and those that failed appraisals of water saving features would be denied licenses for water use.

Greater efforts should also be made to improve the water efficiency in agriculture by spreading water-efficient technologies and methods.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2006)

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