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Beijing's 'southern water' safe and clear

2015-01-23 08:53 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Beijing's tap water has passed daily tests since last month, when a massive project drove water from a south China river into the Chinese capital, Beijing's water supplier said.

Water from a tributary of the Yangtze River has flowed about 1,200 km to Beijing since Dec. 27 as part of a south-to-north water diversion project to quench China's drought-hit north.

Beijing Waterworks Group said testing facilities have been installed at 159 sites across Beijing, and tests have been conducted twice a day. So far, the city's tap water has met national standards, said Liang Li, spokeswoman of the group.

The project delivers 800,000 cubic meters of water to Beijing each day, up from 700,000 when the supply began, according to Liang. Residents have praised the influx of "southern water" for clearer tap water.

Beijing's water supply previously relied heavily on groundwater with high calcium and magnesium content that irritated residents by clogging showerheads and stiffening laundry.

"Tap water has become clearer. Even my tea-loving parents say tea brewed with tap water tastes better," said Yang Yufei, who lives in Beijing's Fengtai District.

With a population of over 20 million, Beijing consumes 3.6 billion cubic meters of water annually, but its water resources per capita are only one-eightieth of the world average. The water project will deliver 9.5 billion cubic meters of water per year to China's northern regions, including the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, and the provinces of Henan and Hebei.

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