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Hebei Province, Major Water Supplier to Beijing, Faces Serious Water Shortage

Xinhua. North China’s Hebei Province, the major water supplier to Beijing, has over-extracted its groundwater, causing major subsidence according to a water conservancy official.

“Water shortage has become a big problem facing the province’s social and economic development,” Li Qinglin, director of Hebei’s water conservancy department, told a forum marking the 17th World Water Day which falls on Sunday.

“Water resources in Hebei have dwindled by nearly 50 percent in recent years compared with that in the 1950s,” said Li, adding the province consumes 20.5 billion to 21.5 billion cubic meters water annually but it has only 17 billion cubic meters of surface water, leaving groundwater to supply the margin.

A water conservancy expert earlier said Hebei has overused 120 billion cubic meters of groundwater in 30 years since 1976. Li urged the government to take measures to reduce water consumption for the sake of sustainable economic and social development.



Injection of high flow water to underground aquifers may be a practial solution which would have an advantage of redued evaporation.
While there would be issues re river flush and flow changes that are counterproductive, this may well be a substantial improvement over present water storage practices.

Although I wouldn't profess any understanding , It would seem that this approach is seldom applied.
I can only think of Gibralter's underground storage cisterns.
Of course the replenishent of aquifers is neccesary to sustainability but like many exploitive industies,the economic, technological and necessity to date has not been comensurate with the perceived returns.

So we dont have a good or even slight knowledge repository of the possible applications.


A mid western utility uses water banking but that is not applicaple here. They are short 4 billion cubic metres of water. It has to come from somewhere or saved from somewhere.

Mexico city also suffers from subsidence from water extraction.

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