The saltwater tide, which started intruding into many Guangdong cities in late December, has seriously affected the lives of local residents, according to Chinese language media reports.
Zhuhai is among the hardest-hit cities, with numerous complaints from residents about salty tap water over the past few days. However, the saltwater tide greatly boosted the bottled water industry, which recorded a 13 percent increase in sales compared to the same period of last year.
Yonglong Group, the city's largest bottled water supplier said its daily sales of 19-liter drums of water reached 20,000, up 30 percent compared to the same period of last year. The sales volume equaled the peak water consumption in the summer, said the company, which saw an average of 40 new customers each day.
The consumption of water in each household also doubled due to the saltwater tide, up from two 19-liter bottles to four. Ren Haibin, general manager of a water supplier, explained the increased consumption by saying many residents, who usually bought bottled water for drinking, were also cooking with bottled water.
The bottled water business has also see a soaring demand from hotel and restaurants. Many hotels in the city have started to provide their guests with purified or mineral water because of the saltwater tide. The Zhuhai International Convention Center said 90 percent of its guest rooms were supplied with purified water. The center used to provide boiled water to its guests.
Some restaurants also shifted to bottled water for cooking and serving tea. Meanwhile, chefs at some other restaurants were reminded to apply less salt when cooking, because of the salty tap water.
The Zhuhai government has enforced mandatory measures to minimize the influence of the saltwater tide, including suspension of the water supply for a week to some business such as car washes and saunas.
The Guangdong Provincial Astronomers Society blamed a shortage of rainfall and the effect of a powerful tidal wave, caused by the sun, the earth and the moon being in one line Dec. 31, for the emergence of the saltwater tide.
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