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Drought Measures China*

Northeast China province fights drought

(06/28/2001) (xinhua)

A series of emergency measures have been taken in northeast China's Liaoning Province in a massive campaign against drought believed to be the most serious since 1904.

In Shenyang, the provincial capital, the consumption fee for underground water has been lifted by a large margin and payments on water for living and industrial use increased by five and 10 times respectively.

In another four cities, including Dalian, sauna baths have been forced to close down and bathrooms for citizens have been asked to limit public opening to every other day.

Scarce rainfall since spring has led to the drying-up of about 1/3 of the total 900 reservoirs in the province, creating heavy pressure on water supply for industry, agriculture and daily living consumption.

Provincial governor Bo Xilai has recently called for intensified efforts to promote a water-saving campaign throughout the province, especially the urban area, where half of the population resides.

In cities, household water supply quotas have been cut by 30 percent from the previous level and the over-used water is charged at a price 10 times that of the average.

Heavy water-consumption industries like bathrooms, car washes and swimming pools are the prior target of the water-saving campaign and a recent provincial government decree has prohibited the opening of new public bathrooms.

No waste of water is allowed in the process of transportation, and water-saving lavatories are asked to be installed in newly set up residential buildings. 

(Original Len: 1815 Condensed Len: 2140)

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