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February 19, 2013

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New wells to store city tap water

Shanghai is to build up to 10 deep wells this year to store tap water for emergency use and control ground subsidence, the city's water authority said yesterday.

The Shanghai Water Authority said most of the city had stopped using underground water as a water resource except in suburban areas not yet reached by the water supply network.

Qian Songyu, deputy director of the authority's water supply administration, said underground water in Shanghai would only be used if the regular water supply system encountered an emergency.

"If there's any water pollution in our water resources or they couldn't supply the city for temporary reasons, the water stored in the deep wells can be used to supply the residents and some important facilities as a relief of the emergency," Qian said.

The deep wells will be built in public places such as at stadiums, universities and parks. The number of such deep wells, including the current 57 recharge wells, would reach 300 in the future to cover all areas of the city, the authority said.

At a newly built 220-meter-deep well at Hongkou Football Stadium, 1,500 tons of tap water is pumped in every day.

"Through the fast valve of the water pipe, the water in the well can be immediately pumped out to supply the area outside of the stadium once there is an emergency," Qian said. "There is a meter at every storage well as well as the recharge wells so we can monitor the quantity of water recharged into the ground every day through a remote control system."

Shanghai had cut the number of its wells from more than 1,000 in 2003 to 216, including the 57 recharge wells, last year to protect the underground water ecology and control subsidence. The exploitation of underground water was also reduced from more than 100 million cubic meters per year in 2003 to last year's 10.9 million cubic meters.

Shanghai recharged 19.4 million cubic meters of water into the ground last year, the authority said.

The underground water was mainly used to supply Chongming Island and the Nanhui area of Pudong where the current water supply network had not yet reached.

But with the improvement of the water supply system, such exploitation should be reduced by about 50 percent this year, the city authority said.


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