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October 16, 2013

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New water source to be Huangpu back-up

A BACK-UP source of tap water is being created by the city water authority at the Taipu River in Qingpu District for residents whose supplies come from the Huangpu River.

The Taipu reserve will go on tap should the Huangpu become polluted, officials said yesterday.

In the first part of the project, the six water intakes along the upstream Huangpu River in suburban Qingpu, Songjiang, Jinshan, Fengxian and Minhang districts will be linked via pipelines so that any can be closed in event of pollution.

Meanwhile, a new reservoir will be built near the Taipu River in Qingpu, and also connected to the intake pipelines, the Shanghai Water Authority announced on its official website.

The pipeline systems, featuring pipes 4 meters in diameter, should be ready to go into service in 2017.

Then the city will be able to take water directly from the Taipu reservoir.

Shanghai currently takes water mainly from the Huangpu River and the Qingcaosha Reservoir on the Yangtze River.

“The Huangpu River has many pollution risks, such as upstream pollution, local waste water discharges and cargo ships,” a water authority expert said.

Meanwhile, a study by a local political advisory body yesterday warned that Shanghai may face a water shortage if the population continues to soar.

The city has a population of over 23 million, which is estimated to reach 30 million within the decade. By then Shanghai could have to find other drinking water sources.

The current capacity of the city's water supply is about 16 million tons per day, enough to meet the demands of 26 million people.

However, once the population reaches 30 million, demand would rise to 18 million tons per day, said Xu Xuehong, a water and environment expert and a member of the Shanghai committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

At the same time, the quality of water in the Huangpu River falls short, Xu said.

Since the Qingcaosha Reservoir went into operation in 2011, Shanghai has been altering its water supply structure.

By the end of 2015, 70 percent of the city's drinking water will be provided by the Qingcaosha and Chenghang reservoirs of the Yangtze, while the Huangpu will only contribute 30 percent.



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