Transfer policies add to water crisis, report says

Beijing hopes to provide water for the summer Olympics by pumping it from reservoirs in neighbouring Hebei province, but a new study says the policy is "short-sighted" and will deprive poor farmers of water for their crops.

Drought and pollution in city reservoirs, population growth and rapid industrial development have left the capital with an acute water
crisis. And with water use expected to rise by 30% during the Games,scarce resources will be strained even further, the report by Probe International says.

A massive canal project will pump 300 million cubic metres of water to Beijing this summer as part of any effort to use China’s south to replenish its parched north. But the report says such large-scale transfer projects won’t solve the problems facing the capital.

Instead of large engineering projects, the study recommends restrictions on urban development and water-guzzling industries, the
enforcement of anti-pollution laws and water rights trading schemes.

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