Water from the South, a Lifeline of the Capital
The city built more water plants to utilise water diverted from the south which increased the capital’s water reserves and water in reservoirs.
Situated at the end of the Middle Route of the South-to-north Water Diversion Project, Beijing sees the completion of the project to benefit people at the earliest date. On December 30, 2003, the construction of the Middle Route (Beijing Section) of the South-to-north Water Diversion Project kicked off; in September 2008, water from Hebei Province arrived in Beijing, making the project a new lifeline of safe water supply for the capital.
Since the beginning of 2012, the Office of the Construction Committee of the South-toNorth Water Diversion Project seeks to ensure the availability of water, divert more water, and manage water properly. It promotes the synergetic development of Beijing, Tianjin Municipality, and Hebei Province, and makes meticulous efforts in operating and managing water diversion.
Constructing Safe Water Supply Layout
The past five years saw the construction of the infrastructure for the South-to-north Water Diversion Project. By the end of 2016, a water transportation loop route along the West Fourth Ring Road and the East, South, and North Fifth Ring Roads came into being to support the project. Construction on branch projects to transport water to East and West Beijing and the Miyun Reservoir Regulation and Reserve Project were completed. They receive 1.05 billion cubic metres of water per year and have become channels for transporting water to central districts and new towns of Tongzhou, Fangshan, Daxing, and Mentougou districts.
Large water plants in central districts were mainly distributed north and west of the city. To support the project, water plants were constructed in Guogongzhuang in Fengtai in the West and Yizhuang in Daxing in South Beijing and the No. 10 Water Plant in East Beijing. Distributing water plants in the central districts was more appropriate. Water plants are also to be built in new towns of suburban Beijing to enhance regional water supply capability and improve water quality.
Now, eight water plants are used to receive water from the South and water from the south covered the central districts, the Hexi area of Fengtai, new towns in Daxing and Mentougou districts, and areas in Changping and Tongzhou districts.
Diverting 4.3 Billion Cubic Metres of Water to Beijing
To ensure the water availability of Beijing, the Beijing-shijiazhuang Emergency Water Supply Project was completed before the Middle Route of the South-to-north Water Diversion Project was put into operation. Until April 2014, a total of 1.606 billion cubic metres of water has been diverted from Hebei Province.
On December 12, 2014, the first stage of the Middle Route of the project started to supply water. On December 27, water from the Danjiangkou Reservoir flowed to Beijing after a 1,276- kilometre-long journey. Two years on, Beijing has imported 2.76 billion cubic metres of water from the south, and a total of 4.3 billion cubic metres of transferred water. The water always exceeds the requirements
of Type II of Environmental Quality Standards for Surface Water, and benefits over 11 million people of Beijing. The standardized management and meticulous diversion have served as countermeasures to various emergencies, thus ensuring safe operation and stable water diversion. Among that, in 2005–2016, Beijing had received 1.104 billion cubic metres of water, more than the planned amount. Delivering results of the project in five years was met ahead of schedule.
Establishing Scientific Water Utility Principles
Since the end of 2014, when the water arrived in Beijing, 200–300 million cubic metres of transferred water from Hebei Province each year has been replaced by 1.05 billion cubic metres from the Danjiangkou Reservoir. With the marked increase of diverted water, the main water supply of the city proper has shifted from surface and underground water to water from the south, with some water plants supplied with both local and transferred water, enhancing water security in the region.
Beijing gave priority to water conservation and water diverted from outside Beijing to be used first. It also worked out a scientific water utility plan. To make better use of water from the south and deliver an improved project, a principle of water use featuring “drinking, storage, and replenishing” was put in place after research, which has made a huge difference.
Ensuring Water Quality
To ensure good water quality, measures were drafted and implemented to control pollution in the source and areas along the Middle Route of the water diversion project. Beijing implemented real-time monitoring in water transported and established standards to ensure water safety. Once water pollution happens, it will be handled immediately. Another 161 water quality monitoring stations were established and 500 water quality monitoring instruments were installed.
Improving Water Ecology
The South-to-north Water Diversion project has always adhered to the development ideal of “innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing” and integrated the project with ecology construction.
With adequate water from the south, 200 self-provided wells were shut down in two years. For two years since December 27, 2014, Beijing exploited about 250 million cubic metres of underground water. Beijing also launched a test to supplement water to the Chaobai River. In 2015, the depth of the underground water in the plains was close to the end of 2014, which declined only 9 centimetres. In November 2016, the depth of the underground water in the plains rebounded 52 centimetres than the same period of the previous year.
Increasing Water Reserve
In 2013, Beijing Municipal Government decided to make use of the Beijing-miyun channel to build the nine-level lifting pump to divert the water from the south to Miyun Reservoir. It further expanded southern water's coverage scope and increased Beijing's water reserve.
Implementing National Strategy
The Office has made well-balanced planning, shaped a layout for the security of water supply, and adjusted the timing and order of the construction of supporting projects in Beijing. It works to ensure that the core functions of the capital are fully tapped and lay a solid foundation for water resources.
The Tongzhou Branch Water Transport Project and Tongzhou Water Plant were scheduled to complete in 2020, and were the first infrastructure projects completed in Tongzhou. Water transportation projects such as Hexi and Daxing branches will support water utility in West Beijing and the new airport construction. As part of the follow-up supporting project, the second source water supply loop, radioactive branch for urban and rural water supply, and supporting water plants will be planned and built.
According to a national programme for partner assistance, Beijing's 16 districts have established “one to one” collaborative relationships with 16 counties (cities, districts) in Henan and Hubei provinces. At the beginning of 2017, Beijing issued The 13th Five-year Plan for Collaborative Relationships of the South-to-north Water Diversion Project of Beijing. The city sustains its efforts in ensuring water quality, improving people's livelihood, prompting transformation, and delivering poverty alleviation, and strengthens support work for water source areas.
Confronted with new dynamics and requirements in Beijing's new development stage, the Office has made well-balanced planning, and launched a construction task of the third stage of the supporting project of the South-to-north Water Diversion Project, thereby further improving the carrying capacity of water resources in the capital. Meanwhile, the Office has also made followup planning for the supporting project before 2030 to build Beijing into a liveable city.
In the next five years, the Office will strive to plug water demand-supply gaps, ensure the security of water sources, improve water ecology, ensure the availability of water in priority areas, and deliver equal access to water for urban and rural areas, and do better work in storing water. All these aim to solidify Beijing's water resource foundation, enhancing the carrying capacity of the city, and delivering a better sense of gain and happiness to residents in urban and rural areas.