Beijing to melt snow to address water shortage news
13 November 2010

According to the Agence France-Presse, Beijing will collect and melt snow this winter to address its long-standing water shortage.

Two vehicles equipped with high-powered heaters capable of melting 3,500 cubic feet of snow and ice an hour would be dispatched to locations around Tiananmen Square and other areas in the city, according to the AFP report which cites a story in China's state newspaper Global Times.

Also clean snow would be dumped into certain sections dammed in three rivers that flow through the city, to be used for road cleaning, irrigation and to supplement the water levels in the river the report said.

Northern China has faced acute water shortages for years, the experts attribute this to global warming, drought and increasing demand from the tens of millions of people who live in and near Beijing, the AFP says. There have been similar shortages in other parts of China, the report says.

The past summer had been especially dry, prompting Chinese officials to consider accessing additional water from underground, a process that water experts argue is too dangerous, according to the Global Times  report.

According to the Global Times report, water consumption in Beijing with a population of nearly 20 million and rising rose to 3.55 billion cubic metres last year as against its water supply of 2.18 billion cubic metres.

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Beijing to melt snow to address water shortage