Water Supply, A Brake on China’s Growth?

Water Supply, A Brake on China’s Growth?

Comment: China’s rapid urban development is bringing a fantastic increase in demand for water.

China needs to ramp up the provision of clean water for its citizens which presents great opportunities for UK companies with infrastructure construction, filtration and Biological and other water treatment methods.

China is a country divided when it comes to water supply.  The great rivers of the South, the Yangtze and Yellow river provide abundant supplies compared with a much drier and water scarce North.

Annual total water usage in China exceeds 600 billion cubic metres. Water for domestic use annually is around 50 billion m³, 8.5% of the total, industrial and agricultural use of around 540 billion cubic metres, some 90% of the total.

Against this demand, China has already has a severe shortage of water. China has only a per-capita share of 2200 cubic meters per annum, one quarter of the world’s average, but water shortages will also increase over the next few years as a result of water pollution and the huge demand from China’s rapidly growing industrial sectors. By 2030, the figure is likely to drop to 1,760. In a total of 663 cities in China, there are more than 400 which suffer from a water shortage problem, 110 of them severe. On average, another 6 billion cubic metres of water is needed in these urban areas annually.

Problems also exist with water treatment as well as supply. Starting from 1999 the central government directed that every municipal city in the country should build sewage facilities. By the end of 2010, China had built 2,631 wastewater treatment plants with a capacity of 122 million tons per day. In addition, there are 1,849 water treatment plants under construction.

The Chinese water infrastructure construction market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.07% between 2007 and 2016. This growth is expected to be mainly driven by China’s 12th five-year-plan, in which RMB430 billion has been allocated for the construction of new pipelines and treatment plants. The government has also set guidelines to achieve an urban treatment scale of 45.69 million cubic meters per day by 2015.

The UK’s expertise in the field of water supply and treatment is unparalleled and China’s water issues present a great opportunity to UK companies.


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