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.