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July 23, 2010

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Island village short of water

HUNDREDS of people are enduring a water shortage during rush hours due to rapid growth in the number of residents in a village on Shanghai's Changxing Island.

Many of the people are migrant workers who moved to the island after the government stepped up efforts to build shipping operations there last year.

Residents in Changming Village can only dream of a shower at night as the water only drips out of faucets due to the demand and lack of infrastructure.

A new water pipe is expected to be installed in the village by next month, said the Changxing water station, the local water supplier, which is expected to solve the problem.

The authority has advised residents to avoid taking showers and making dinner during peak hours while some have started resorting to using well water to get by until the pipe is ready.

"Life is tough this summer but we can only hang on until the new pipe is installed," said Chen Peijia, who lives in the village and works at the water station.

Chen said he and his family usually avoid taking showers between 6pm and 9pm.

However, the water supply problem has existed for years since Jiangnan Shipyard and Zhenghua Heavy Industry Co Ltd started to move their operations to the island in 2007. Both companies use large volumes of water.

According to the Changxing government, the migrant worker population on the island reached 99,166, more than doubling the native population of 41,230.

Many workers rent houses, placing pressure on local utilities, officials said. The water supply has been intense for years, especially during summer.

The island's water comes from deep shafts, which is "inherently deficient," said Li Chunhui, official of Shanghai Waterworks.

Li said the island's water supply would be completely upgraded next year with the completion of the Qingcaosha Reservoir.

The renovation of water pipelines on the island has already started, Li said.


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