Zhuhai city is ready to conserve freshwater released from the Xijiang River beginning Jan. 18, Guangdong media reported Thursday.
Hydropower stations along the Xijiang River in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region began to release greater volumes of water Tuesday to help dilute the effect of saltwater tides in the Pearl River Delta area.
Guangdong water resources officials and experts held a meeting in Zhuhai on Wednesday to discuss how the city could conserve water when the freshwater arrives in the city Jan. 18. The officials and experts estimated that the city would have about eight to 10 days to conserve the freshwater.
Officials from Zhuhai's water resources department said they would conserve about 7 to 10 million cubic meters of freshwater during the days when the freshwater passes the city. They said their work would focus on the city's southern reservoirs, which are the sources of Macao's water supply. They said the southern reservoirs would secure about 4 million cubic meters of freshwater.
Under a plan by the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, 450 million cubic meters of water will be diverted to the Pearl River Delta, benefiting cities like Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Macao.
Macao, which relies on the water supply from Zhuhai, is currently enduring its worst ever salinity crisis. The salinity level stood at 600 milligrams per liter in recent days in Macao, much higher than the 200-milligram-per-liter standard set by the World Health Organization. The local health authorities have advised residents to use bottled water.
Macao Water Co. Ltd. has raised a fund of 1 million patacas (US$125,000) for the poor families that cannot afford bottled drinking water amid the present salinity crisis. The company said Macao residents could have freshwater from Jan. 20.
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