Recently, foreign media reported that according to a new study using satellite images, excessive groundwater extraction is causing Beijing to sink. It said satellite imagery showed that parts of Beijing-especially the central business district-are sinking at an annual rate of 11 cm.
What is the status of groundwater in Beijing?
At the beginning of 2014, the Municipal Water Affairs Bureau once introduced that Beijing ’s groundwater has been over-exploited for fifteen consecutive years, and the over-exploitation area has reached 6,494 square kilometers. "Over-exploitation" means that the groundwater extraction is greater than the recharge. Some experts even compare Beijing to a castle built on the beach.
Why is groundwater being overexploited year after year?
The relevant person in charge of the Beijing Municipal Water Affairs Bureau said that Beijing's water resources and precipitation are limited. Taking 1999 to 2011 as an example, the average annual water resources are only 2.1 billion cubic meters, but the total water consumption is about 3.7 billion cubic meters. How to solve the extra part can only be achieved through reclaimed water, external transfer water and over-exploitation of groundwater.
Some environmental experts pointed out that the growth of Beijing ’s population and the expansion of the city will inevitably increase the demand for water resources, leading to the excessive use of groundwater. “Big city disease” may be the primary cause of groundwater overexploitation.
What are the risks of over-exploitation of groundwater?
Over-exploitation of groundwater is considered the "culprit" of urban ground subsidence. At the two sessions in 2014, the Beijing Committee of the China Association for the Promotion of Democracy pointed out that as the groundwater level in Beijing continued to decline and the area of land subsidence expanded year by year, there were five major subsidence zones in the Beijing area with an area of about 1,000 square kilometers.
Geological experts also confirmed that ground subsidence may cause many hazards, such as affecting the operation safety of high-speed rail, destroying buildings and production facilities, not conducive to construction and resource development, and even causing serious consequences such as seawater backfilling.
What is the solution?
At present, Beijing has determined to "fix the city with water, set the land with water, set the people with water, and set the product with water", and promote the dissolution of population and functions. Water cannot be exploited without restrictions, and the population of water resources is limited. Only by planning the total amount of urban population carried by water resources and carrying out industrial adjustments can we further protect water resources.
However, Tianquan believes that "open source and throttling" is the most fundamental solution. It includes two aspects. On the one hand, the public must take part in water conservation, and on the other hand, the state should vigorously support related enterprises to develop new water sources. For now, the main source of water comes from surface water and groundwater, and the surface water is seriously polluted. The current situation of groundwater insufficiency causes the water to fall into an awkward situation. Tianquan Air Water Generator came into being.
Without the traditional water source, the Tianquan air water maker that takes water directly from the air will greatly alleviate the pressure of over-exploitation of urban groundwater and provide new possibilities for the development of new sources of water sources.