Chinese cities are facing challenges resulting from population growth, climate change and deterioration of urban infrastructure systems.
As water demand keeps increasing, a growing number of cities are dealing with the complications of managing scarcer and less reliable water resources in an efficient way.
Leveraging on experiences form the EU, the EC-Link Project aims to support Chinese cities in addressing water problems and improving water management in urban areas.
The link between climate change and human security has been on the global security radar for decades. Researchers have long understood how and why the earth’s climate is changing and what these changes mean for human and environmental systems. But the tenor of analysis of the implications of climate change has intensified in recent years as the scale of change and the enormity of the challenges facing humanity become clear.
The most critical element of the human security dimension of climate change is water security. As noted in the World Bank’s 2016 report on global water: “The impacts of climate change will be channeled primarily through the water cycle … Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban, and environmental systems. Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will converge upon a world where the demand for water rises exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain”.
With less than 1% of the world’s freshwater readily available for human consumption and demand expected to increase by 40% by 2030, effective governance and management of freshwater supplies is one of the most fundamental public goods challenges of our time.
Yet recent headlines about devastating wildfires and water shortages facing Australia, deadly flooding in Jakarta, and Chennai joining Cape Town and other cities in the struggle to avoid ‘Day Zero’ serve as just the latest reminders of how difficult a task this is becoming.
Already, nearly 25% of the world’s population face looming water crises, and by 2025 the figure is predicted to surpass 60%. In addition to the impacts on human health and ecosystems, water risks are also increasingly material for economic growth and business. The World Bank projects that water scarcity could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP by 2050. In 2018 alone, companies reported more than $38 billion in financial losses due to water challenges.
“China is rapidly urbanizing, by 2030 there will be more than 1 billion urban consumers…’ To compare statistics, the Netherlands’ largest city Amsterdam has a population of one million, while China’s biggest cities are pushing towards 30 million. In other words, in terms of sheer size, there may not be a lot of overlap. But did you know that the Netherlands is 93% urbanized? In our new ‘Feeding & Greening Mega Cities’ Study, we dive into the developments, similarities and differences and opportunities for the Dutch and Chinese sectors to connect. One of the key elements for the Chinese Green Mega Cities is smart water management. China has been facing severe issues water-related issues for years, both in terms of pollution and allocation. Sponge cities have become a national priority after dry spells and floods hitting many cities. Needless to say that this is an interesting opportunity to cooperate. “Every square centimeter in the Netherlands has been designed by civil engineers, architects, urban designers and landscape architects.” There are already several ongoing sponge city projects in China, and some water management projects have clear ties with the Netherlands.
China aims to double the amount of water it transfers from the flood-prone south to arid northern regions, officials said on Thursday, as the government prepares to launch the second phase of its controversial cross-country water diversion scheme. The South-North Water Diversion Project was first proposed in 1952 to ease flooding in the south and drought in the north, but critics say its costs are too high and the diversion of polluted water to other regions could contaminate other lakes and rivers. The first phase of the project, completed five years ago, linked the Yangtze and Yellow rivers through two main routes in eastern and central China, with another, more challenging route in the far west still to come. Preliminary work is now underway on the second phase, which will raise annual delivery capacity from 8.77 billion cubic meters to 16.5 billion cubic meters, said Shi Chunxian, head of the planning office of the Ministry of Water Resources.
The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) adopted in 2000 aims to protect Europe's water resources. By 2027, EU Member States are required to bring all water bodies into a "good ecological" and "good chemical state." There's still a long way to go. This is due, for example, to the fact that a few existing substances, for which there are currently no suitable possibilities for reducing pollution, lead to environmental quality standards being exceeded across the board in Germany and Europe—and thus to poor water quality. "What's more, the complex mixtures of pesticides, medicines and industrial chemicals that are released daily and pose a considerable risk for humans and the environment are not taken into account when establishing the chemical status of our water bodies," says UFZ Environmental Chemist Dr. Werner Brack, who coordinated the SOLUTIONS project that drew to a close last year.
With the rapid development of its economy, China is also dedicated in constructing a good ecological environment that has put forward higher requirements on the development in the new era. At the National Conference on Ecological Environmental Protection in May 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that the country should intensify efforts to promote the construction of ecological civilization, so to solve the compelling ecological & environmental challenges, fight against pollutions, and push China’s ecological civilization construction to a new level.
It is within this background that “the 14th International Conference on China Urban Water Development and Expo of New Technologies and Facilities” was successfully held on November 26-27, 2019 in Suzhou Jinji Lake International Convention Centre.
The theme of the conference is “Fighting against Water Pollution and Speeding up Hydro-ecological Restoration.” More than 300 domestic and international authoritative experts in the field of urban water and integrated water environment management were invited to conduct in-depth discussions and exchanges and broadly dig into the current key and hard problems encountered in water pollution control and hydro-ecological restoration.
In recent years, China has achieved a series of socioeconomic achievements, but at the same time it also sees arising of a lot of challenging issues. The process of rapidly advancing industrialization and urbanization has caused shortage of natural resources to meet demands of the population, large-scale ecological damages, and serious environmental pollutions. Urban water problems such as floods, droughts, water shortages, and deterioration of the aquatic environment have become increasingly prominent.
In order to further study and learn the advanced concepts, technologies and experience from European cities and better solve the current frequent urban water problems, Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province has been selected as a comprehensive pilot city for the Europe-China Eco Cities Link Project (EC-Link Project).
Due to the impact of tropical hurricanes in summer, Zhuhai is often badly hit by extreme weather disasters such as typhoons, heavy rains and floods. Focusing on these challenges faced by the city, the EC-Link experts have formulated a comprehensive urban water management strategy, including the criterions of water collection, storage and drainage on all scales, to address its problems.
For many years, the EC-Link Project has provided strong supports to Chinese municipal governments, helping them design, draft and formulate sustainable urban development plans, reframe people’s perception of urbanization, and transform traditional concepts into new paradigms that are based on green and people-oriented humanity principles.
To achieve the above objectives, the EC-Link Project has carried out a large number of works including outbound visits, learning tours, inter-city exchanges and trainings to facilitate effective dialogues between China and Europe.
And to further support knowledge exchange, the EC-Link Project has launched an online communication platform and displayed it during the 14th International Conference on China Urban Water Development. This platform is the only online cross-disciplinary community that connects major stakeholders in China and Europe; it is also a unique information tool to promote and share China and Europe’s advanced experience in developing sustainable cities and towns.
Compared with other knowledge exchange platforms, the “EC-Link Exchange Platform” is focused more on professionalism. The majority of platform users are urban eco-construction technicians and think tank experts. In the future, the platform will directly invite big-name experts, professionals and scientists to share their views, cases and proposals on relevant areas of eco-city construction, enhance interconnection among experts of China and Europe, help relevant industry workers from all walks of life to build their own networks, and promote multi-party exchanges and cooperation.
You can easily access this platform by logging into the EC-Link website. It provides an open space for all major stakeholders (government officials, professors, scholars, companies, etc.) to conduct free dialogue and exchange of ideas on sustainable urbanization in China and Europe.
Amsterdam International Water Week (4-8 November 2019) is a top event for all stakeholders & professions concerning sustainable water development from all countries in the world. It includes an International Water Week conference, Aquatech exhibition, Aquatech Forum and Future Water leaders Forum, attract 25,000 professions to participate.
During the 2 days’ International Water Week Conference, EC-LINK project Key Expert Ms. Xiaocun Ruan has presented the EC-LINK pilot project – “Implementation Climate Resilience in Zhuhai -an integrated spatial development approach in different scale” at the session: Water security – assessment and quantification methodologies. The audience has a good impression of EC-LINK project working on different scales and with different people.
Furthermore, she also presented the Zhuhai case at leader’s forum -round table discussion in order to listen the ideas from experts from other countries and thus to exchange experiences and learn from each other.
Unless well-funded and coordinated joint efforts are stepped up, ongoing over-withdrawals compounded by climate change will cause dangerous water shortages for some 70 million people living in Central Asia's Aral Sea Basin, according to a new book co-authored by 57 experts from 14 countries and the United Nations.
With six countries competing for resources - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan - the Basin is one of the world's most complex watersheds.
The European Maritime Safety Agency held an event on the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s Ballast Water Management Convention, on 29-30 October in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Ballast Water Management Convention is a 2004 international maritime treaty, that aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another and prevent ships from transferring organisms between ecosystems in different parts of the world.
Participants from Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia were provided with detailed information regarding the monitoring of the Convention, an update on the latest technology, the view of the Port State Control, as well as ballast water management systems.
The world has to start acting in a more muscular way on climate change and make a fundamental overhaul of economic models, a senior European official believes.
But eyes in the sky such as the EU's Copernicus satellite system can help politicians and policymakers understand the impacts climate change can wreak.
Patrick Child, the deputy director-general of the European Commission's research and innovation department, says the continent is very proud to be leading the way in delivering the Paris agreement on climate action.
While he wouldn't buy into Australia's often-testy political debate on the issue, he said there was a global challenge in making sure the scientific evidence around climate change was brought into the broader debate and used to set government priorities.
In a desert city such as Phoenix, water is the foundation of public health, economic opportunity and quality of life. Phoenix’s water supply is sound and sustainable as a result of multiple water sources and a logical, methodical approach to supply planning, infrastructure management, conservation and drought preparation. Living in the desert imparts a deep appreciation for the value of water, which has driven the city of Phoenix to methodically manage water supplies for reliability in our desert environment. There are complicated trade-offs between sustainable management of water supplies, conservation, affordability, infrastructure investment and equity. At the same time, smart and equitable water management can foster broad opportunity for the entire community. In Phoenix, we’re continuously working on water management, and we’re now bringing water equity into focus as well.
Phoenix has been a leader in the reuse of wastewater for 40 years. We’ve also banked water underground that we don’t need today, for availability when shortages of Colorado River water occur. And we have access to over a trillion gallons of native groundwater, which we fastidiously protect as a savings account for future generations. Our supplies include water from the Salt, Verde and Colorado Rivers, and reclaimed wastewater.
The process of meeting the food demand of the world’s increasing population is going to put pressure not only on land but also on water resources, Global Land Outlook, a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) report has said.
In all probability, demand of water for agricultural purposes will double by 2050 due to growing demands for food. This fact becomes more significant when coupled with the fact that agriculture is by far the most important driver of water shortages around the world. Irrigation accounts for 70 per cent of global water withdrawals.
The report said despite the fact that water was recognised among the top 10 risks humanity was facing, it often got neglected in discussions about the role of land and natural resources.
Highlighting its importance in land degradation, the report said 20 per cent of irrigated land area had suffered from crop yield reductions due to salinity.
In India, the primary sector, comprising agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, and fishing, is the mainstay of the rural economy. Growth in these activities is indispensable for maintaining rural livelihoods. The growth of agriculture depends mainly on the availability and judicious use of water resources, in addition to other inputs. A drastic increase in the demand for water—due to explosive population growth, industrialisation, urbanisation, water-intensive cropping patterns, poor managerial systems, and climate change—has depleted freshwater sources. The need to preserve and manage scarce, depleting water resources is now urgent.
Rural resources like land and water, and other natural resources, need to be developed and managed in a coordinated manner and used optimally for development to be sustainable. The management of forest wealth needs to improve and its coverage and productivity enhanced. Rural populations have some rights to common property resources; these must be used efficiently and distributed equitably among them. Social institutions like non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can help mitigate problems related to rural resources. Community participation, apart from the work of public and private agents, is an important ingredient of rural sustainable development.
A voluntary environmental project, Refill Ireland wants to turn Ireland into a tap water refilling country again. According to their website refill.ie, there are already more than 850 publicly accessible locations where one can refill their multi-use water bottle for free, thereby reducing considerably the need to purchase plastic water bottles. The access to free water is facilitated enormously by the online TAP MAP showing a list with all locations, which can be filtered by town or city and type.
Not only is the initiative highly popular among locals, but it is also attractive environmentally conscious businesses, which provide locations for tap stations in their property. The costs for businesses is particularly low, estimated at around 1.16 euros per 1000 litres of water.
The first underground waste containers in Blagoevgrad were just unveiled and are ready to be used by residents and guests of the Bulgarian town, informed the Municipality. A total of eight containers were installed in the city centre. Three of them are located in the space between the building of the Opera and the Mineral Bath, two in the parking lot near Macedonia Square and three at “Gyorche Petrov” street. Containers are designed for household waste and must not be used for the disposal of glass waste. Gradually, Blagoevgrad Municipality will develop the project, and such containers will be placed elsewhere in the city centre as well as in different neighborhoods.
Each one of us must respond urgently to the national water crisis. In Metro Manila, our complacency has been jolted twice already.
When water started flowing again after the first wave of the water shortage, we went back to our wasteful ways. We leave the tap open when cleaning our hands or washing our clothes.
Take note of the following: At least 55 people die every day from water-related causes; 300 out of our 1,500 municipalities are totally without water; and irrigation today provides only 50 percent of supply needs. There is simply not enough water available from our severely diminished water tables and sources.
In view of this, the Movement for Water Security (MWS) made eight recommendations for the government to implement immediately. These were submitted and discussed during the congressional water hearing on June 25, and at the Department of Agriculture (DA)-attached Philippine Council of Agriculture and Food Climate Change Committee meeting on June 26.
Source: Business Inquirer - https://business.inquirer.net/273943/are-we-back-to-our-wasteful-ways-of-using-water
A significant part of India is facing water scarcity, while a latest government report holds that India is not a water deficit country but that the scarcity is on account of severe neglect and lack of monitoring of water resources and development projects. It noted that several regions in the country experience “water stress from time to time”.
It warned that any “further neglect in this sector will lead to water scarcity in future” and recommended that “imposing regulatory measures to prevent the misuse of water and introducing rewards and punishment to encourage judicious use of water, will be helpful to conserve water.”
It also called for awareness and orientation of all the water users to “change their lifestyle to conserve water” to ensure that India tides over the water crisis in the future and emphasised that the “challenge is manageable provided we have favourable policies and mechanisms to persuade our people to change their lifestyle.”
For millions of years, monsoonal winds have cycled between Asia’s tropical seas and the Tibetan Plateau, delivering snow to its high-altitude mountains and rains to the plains below them. The melting snow and summer rains combine to create a system of rivers that fan out from the mountains, delivering water and fertile soil to East, Southeast and South Asia.
Known as the Great Himalayan Watershed (GHW), this hydrological phenomenon has created richly diverse ecosystems and the right conditions for some of the world’s earliest agricultural and urban centres. The GHW encompasses most of Asia’s rivers—today around 45% of the world’s population depends on the watershed and it is home to many significant manufacturing centres and trade networks. Despite this, the GHW has received little public or political attention.
Increasing attention is now being paid to the watershed’s degraded state. Scientists, environmentalists and locals are particularly concerned about its glaciated headwaters and its deltas. Both are experiencing accelerated climate change and biodiversity loss.
The provincial government of Hainan plans zoning restrictions which would see much of the island become off-limits for aquaculture, impacting one of China's biggest production regions.
Announced last week, the "Hainan aquaculture waters and coastal zoning plan 2018-2030" could see up to 40% of current tilapia farming area off-limits to aquaculture, an industry source told Undercurrent News, should farms be located in newly protected areas or fail to conform to environmental regulations.
The act underlines the uneasy relationship between aquaculture and other industries -- such as tourism -- as China’s economy develops. Near Sanya, south Hainan, holiday resorts and five-star hotels line the coast drawing holidaymakers from the mainland.
EC-Link Project, together with EU experts coming from the city of Valencia (Spain) are supporting Zhuhai municipality in improving Zhuhai Fushan No.1 Industrial water purification plant providing support and advisory for the second phase construction of this plant.
EC-Link selected Valencia due to its huge history and experience in municipal and industrial waste management solution and systems; in parallel, Chinese municipalities have increased their focus and efforts towards combating and properly manage the high amount of wastewater yearly generated by its developed industrial sector.
Valencia experts, in their presentation, introduced waste water treatment method and development in Valencia and recent most developed techniques present in Europe, in particular regarding European standard of deodorization and effective solution (such as energy saving) to reach an efficient management of a water plant.
Moreover, Valencia experts have expressed that they can facilitate delegation from Zhuhai to visit Valencia and other cities in Spain on the topic of waste water treatment etc.
After technical discussion between Chinese and European experts, both sides have a good understanding of each other; Valencia experts agreed to draft a technical supporting report to be finalized by September 2019.
The United Nations on Tuesday warned that poor waste management threatens human settlement globally.
Andre Dzikus, coordinator of urban basic services branch at the UN Habitat, said that inadequate waste management coupled with increasing urbanization and population growth is becoming a major threat to humanity.
"We are calling on city authorities to join 'Waste wise cities campaign' to help them provide basic urban services that are crucial to creating a better quality of life of populations," Dzikus told journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing first UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi.
Dzikus revealed that 2 billion people currently do not have access to municipal solid waste collection services while another 3 billion people lack access to controlled waste disposal facilities. He warned that if not addressed, dumpsites will produce 8-12 percent of the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
Source: China.org.cn - http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2019-05/28/content_74831887.htm
In order to further accelerate the construction of the second batch of 16 town-level sewage treatment facilities in the city during the “13th Five-Year Plan”, enhance the operation of the completed town-level sewage treatment facilities, and realize the goal of building sewage treatment facilities across the town-level areas during the “13th Five-Year Plan”, the Liuzhou Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau organized and held the 2019 meeting for promotion of town-level sewage treatment facility construction and operation on the morning of May 28, 2019.
This year, the Autonomous Region’s Housing and Urban-Rural Development Department pointed out that it has included the construction of the second batch of 16 town-level sewage treatment facilities in Liuzhou during the “13th Five-Year Plan” into its plan of performance appraisal over local officials. It said that the project should be completed by the end of the year under the Performance Appraisal Requirements and the construction of sewage treatment fee collection mechanism in each county, district and township. It requires all departments and units should give full play to the role of performance appraisal manager to further encourage leaders and personnel at all levels to take up their responsibility.
The World Bank has approved a 200-million-U.S.-dollar loan to support green urban investments in China's Yangtze River Delta region.
The bank's board of executive directors approved the loan to the green urban financing and innovation project, which will help launch and operate the Shanghai Green Urban Financing and Services Co. to focus on sectors of water, wastewater and solid waste management.
The project will bring innovative solutions to help China meet its environmental investment needs and achieve its climate targets under its nationally determined contribution, said Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China.
The bank expects the country's environmental infrastructure financing needs between 2014 and 2030 to be between 40.3 trillion yuan (about 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars) and 70.1 trillion yuan. Low-cost, long-term financing mechanisms are urgently needed, especially for small cities and towns whose infrastructure needs are poorly served by current financing frameworks.
Source: China.org.cn - http://www.china.org.cn/business/2019-05/23/content_74813749.htm
Every year, the World Economic Forum asks some 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, business, academia and civil society across the globe to assess the risks facing the world over the decade to come. Since 2012, water crisis has consistently been ranked as one of the threats with the highest potential impact as well as likelihood.
This year “water crisis” is named as the risk with the fourth biggest impact. When asked how likely the risks are to occur, “water crisis” is placed as number nine. The top scores on both impact and likelihood are perceived to be: extreme weather events; failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; and natural disasters.
Of the 1,000 most severe disasters that have occurred since 1990, water-related disasters accounted for 90 per cent. With extreme water and weather events increasing in both frequency and severity in the wake of climate change, floods and droughts are set to strike harder and more often in the years to come.
Annual flood losses in Europe are expected to increase fivefold to 2050 and up to 17-fold by 2080.
Source: IPS News - http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/03/9-10-worst-global-risks-linked-water/
Smart Water Management Market Insights 2019, Global and Chinese Scenario is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Smart Water Management industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Smart Water Management manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry. Overall, the report provides an in-depth insight of 2014-2024 global and Chinese Smart Water Management market covering all important parameters.
In order to improve the flood control and drainage capacity of the Xuhe River and speed up the development and construction of the core area of the Binhu New District, Hefei government will take new measures for dredging of the Xuhe River System. A number of pollution control projects will be launched in the old city and the southern city to further improve the water environment quality of the Hefei downtown.
The Wulimiao Temple area will completely realize the diversion of rain water and sewage water.
It is said that the project for Xuhe River Dredging and Improvement of Riverside Auxiliary Facilities has entered the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) process. The project is generally east-west direction, ranging from Guangxi Road in the west to the Xuhe Pumping Station Gate in the east, with a total length of about 2.7 km.
The main contents of the project include pipe culvert, channel dredging, sewage interception along the river, water quality control, ecological restoration and other ancillary works for a total investment of 89.705 million yuan.
The Benthemplein Water Square is the world’s first water public space made up of collected rainwater. Located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the square not only provides an outdoor sports venue for the public, but also provides a theatre for local residents and tourists. The Water Square uses its proud rainwater harvesting technology to store water in publicly visible basins. It brings a touch of green to the densely populated Rotterdam. The square is also a versatile sports area for basketball, football, hockey and some street sports, and even has some stands in the surrounding.
The irrigation of the flowers and trees is supplied by the automatic water discharge system, while the rainwater flows through the steel trough. The steel trough is laid according to the shape of the square. As a complement to the surrounding buildings, the water square redefined the public space and provides a self-sustaining green space for the surrounding community.
CHEN Mo, member of the Party Working Committee of the New District and Chief Planner, investigated the treatment of black and odorous water in the Fengxi New City.
Mr. CHEN Mo also reviewed the progress of the Xinhe River remediation project and the water quality. He exhorted that all on-going projects should adhere to the treatment standards such as“controlling source of wastewater, enhancing endogenous treatment, dredging runoff water, ecological restoration, and long-term management”, ensuring that all sections not be ignored, the order not be in chaos, and the standard not be reduced. Then, it is necessary to strengthen institutional development, establish a long-term mechanism, implement the “river-supervisor system”, strengthen the rule of law, and effectively improve the quality and efficiency of long-term management.
Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental right but remains a challenge in many parts of the world. Around 2.1 billion people across the globe lack access to drinking water and 340,000 children under five die annually from unsafe drinking water and diarrhea due to poor sanitation.
Sudan faces ecological hazards such as water scarcity and desertification. As global population increases and human development advances, the demand for water increases, but availability remains limited. Access to water is a burden in many parts of Sudan as too many women and children still have to walk kilometers in severe weather conditions to access drinking water sources.
On World Water Day, the High Representative of the European Union declared that "The universal access to water and sanitation is a longstanding core element of EU’s development cooperation. Over the last decade we have spent more than €2.5 billion on water and sanitation in 62 countries, mainly in the African, Caribbean, Pacific countries as well as in our neighborhood. In many of these countries, we implement projects thanks to the strong cooperation with our UN partners - UNICEF, UNESCO and UNECE - and international financing institutions such as the World Bank."
On March 22, the publicity campaign called “Water Nourishing Weihai” – 2019 “World Water Day and China Water Week” – was launched in Weihai City. The City leaders ZHANG Hongwei, LI Wenji, GAO Shuliang and LI Shufang attended the event. GAO Shuliang pointed out that all departments and agencies at all levels should, by taking this event as an opportunity, bear in mind what the General Secretary XI Jinping enthusiastically said that “Weihai should develop towards an exquisite city”, and should meet the requirements of the municipal party committee and municipal government for fully assuring water security. He said departments and agencies at all levels should enhance cooperation, and jointly manage to do the “five issues”: to broadly store water, to trap rainfall water and other externally-introduced water, to desalinate sea water, to use reclaimed water, and to treat sewage water. The theme of this year’s “China Water Week” is “to adhere to water conservation priority and strengthen water resources management”. In recent years, the city has adhered to water conservation priority, and taps to new source of water. So far, the city has invested more than 5 billion yuan to implement a number of major projects such as rainwater resource utilization and river and reservoir greening and remediation. It has successfully won the approvals to create a pilot city for water-saving social innovation in China, so to ensure the city’s economic and social development.
Today, more than half the world’s population live in cities, and in Asia we are expecting unprecedented growth — by 2030, megacities of 10 million inhabitants or more will be located primarily in Asia.
While urbanisation is synonymous with economic growth, it can often do more harm than good if we do not have the proper infrastructure to sustain the rapid development.
As epicentres of human activities, cities see intense production and consumption, using huge quantities of our limited natural resources while contributing to climate change.
One of the most critical resources under increased stress in urban cities is water.
The issue is even more acute in Asia-Pacific, with the region being home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population but only having access to one-third of its usable water resources.
The rapidly growing desalination industry produces water for drinking and for agriculture in the world’s arid coastal regions. But it leaves behind as a waste product a lot of highly concentrated brine, which is usually disposed of by dumping it back into the sea, a process that requires costly pumping systems and that must be managed carefully to prevent damage to marine ecosystems. Now, engineers at MIT say they have found a better way.
In a new study, they show that through a fairly simple process the waste material can be converted into useful chemicals — including ones that can make the desalination process itself more efficient.
The approach can be used to produce sodium hydroxide, among other products. Otherwise known as caustic soda, sodium hydroxide can be used to pretreat seawater going into the desalination plant.
Source: MIT News - http://news.mit.edu/2019/brine-desalianation-waste-sodium-hydroxide-0213
Plastic pollution appears to be arising ever more frequently in the news. Companies like Starbucks have announced voluntary steps to rid their stores of plastic straws. China is wielding its “National Sword” policy, which places restrictions on the amount and type of plastic waste it will accept from abroad, which has prompted cries for improvements to recycling technologies and infrastructure in the United States. A young entrepreneur designed a floating boom intended to rake up debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a large accumulation of plastic debris and other waste floating in the Pacific Ocean—but it returned to port in pieces in early January, battered by unrelenting wind and waves, indicating the challenges of ocean cleanup.
Source: The Regulatory Review - https://www.theregreview.org/2019/02/13/stein-single-use-plastics-comprehensive-federal-legislation/
India is making a big effort to face climate change and natural disasters which are more frequent every year. Populations must understand how to survive in such conditions and safety is not too much. That's why in Surat, they have decided to focus on water management.
As part of its Resilience Strategy development work, the city has prioritized cleaning the Tapi River and transforming Surats’ relationship with their primary body of water. Benefits will include clean drinking water for millions of citizens, enhanced potential for recreational areas along its corridor, and the restoration of its ecosystems.
Source: Emergency Live - https://www.emergency-live.com/news/water-management-in-surat-resilient-cities-in-the-word/
Europe-wide action to prevent and reduce some of the most hazardous chemicals from making their way into Europe’s many fresh water bodies has been successful over past decades, thanks in most part to EU rules, according to the EEA report 'Chemicals in European waters.' However, challenges remain in effectively dealing with mercury and brominated flame retardants, and with many harmful chemicals which have not been prioritised for monitoring under the EU Water Framework Directive.
Source: European Environment Agency - https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/more-action-needed-to-tackle
According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, there are currently 4,857 satellites orbiting the planet. Among them are two Sentinel-2 satellites, part of a space-borne mission provided by the Copernicus European Earth Observation programme. The two satellites visit the same spot on Earth every two to five days, depending on the location.
Their sensors acquire multispectral images with spatial resolution varying between 10, 20, or 60 metres, depending on the spectral band. The data produced by Sentinel satellites is freely available to the public and the volumes of data are staggering. Between Sentinel 1, 2 and 3, over 10 petabyte of new data are made available for download every year. With a single petabyte equalling 500 billion pages of standard typed text, this is Big Data worthy of its name.
Source – Modern Diplomacy - https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/02/10/eye-in-the-sky-using-satellites-to-better-manage-natural-resources/
Despite being rich in water resources, Pakistanis continue to face water scarcity because of the country’s inability to properly manage, use and protect water resources for socioeconomic and environmental sustainability.
Pakistan’s poor water management is conservatively costing the country nearly 4 per cent of GDP or around $12 billion (Dh44.07 billion) per year, according to a new report from the World Bank.
These costs are dominated by the cost of poor water supply and sanitation as well as floods and droughts.
Wuhan was once known as “the city of a hundred lakes”. It had 127 lakes in its central area alone in the 1980s, but decades of rapid urbanisation mean only around 30 survive.
Located at the merging of the Yangtze and Han rivers, this low-lying city, the capital of Hubei province, has always been prone to floods, especially in the summer monsoon months. The street names are often the only reminder of the lakes and pools that been filled in and built over, but in 2016, after a week of torrential downpours, they filled with water again.
Myanmar is a rainy country, endowed with a wealth of rivers, streams and bodies of water. And while average annual rainfall in the Dry Zone is less than 1,000 millimeters, coastal regions can receive over 5,000 millimeters of rain over the same period. In other words, Myanmar on the whole is blessed with rich resources of freshwater, with a vast majority of this water flowing into four major rivers, the Chindwin, Ayeyarwady, Sittang and Salween and their associated tributaries.
Nevertheless, many places in the middle of Myanmar, much of which is classified as a Dry Zone, routinely face a scarcity of water in the summer. But why, given the country’s vast freshwater resources, does this problem of a scarcity of freshwater persist? As such, if Myanmar is to realize its true economic potential, let alone social cohesiveness, it is important to understand why this is happening and to address the root causes.
Source: Mizzima News - http://mizzima.com/article/case-holistic-water-management-approach-myanmar
The legislation defines minimum quality standards for reclaimed water to be used for agricultural irrigation. It also sets out obligations for production, distribution and storage operators, as well as risk management measures.
Reclaimed water (i.e. urban wastewater that has undergone treatment in a reclamation facility) will be used to irrigate food crops, processed food crops and non-food crops. The Commission will have to assess whether reclaimed water can be used in other ways.
MEPs say that in the meantime, member states may allow reclaimed water to be used in other ways, such as industrial water reuse and for amenity-related and environmental purposes, provided that human health, animals and the environment are thoroughly protected.
Recently, the Office of the Joint Conference of Rural Toilet Renovation in Shandong Province issued the Pilot Work Plan for Creating and Improvement of Rural Harmless Sanitary Toilets in the Eastern, Central and Western Province (2018-2020). As a pilot area in the east China, Weihai is urgently needed to promote integrating both works of rural toilet reform and domestic sewage treatment, and explore an upgraded version of toilet revolution.
How to renovate and upgrade rural toilets? The Plan clarifies the ways to effectively carry out both the toilet reform and rural domestic sewage treatment. For the villages that have not reformed their toilets, they in principle may adopt the modes the modes of single family, multi families or whole village to include their sewage into a pipe network, so to collectively treat the toilet sewage and kitchen sewage and all other domestic sewage such as bathing and soaking waste water, and thus realizing the treatment and control at the pollution source end and in just one step. For the single-family treatment mode, it takes a household as a unit, to install a small single-family processing facility that is used to collect all the domestic sewages such as toilet sewage, kitchen sewage, bath water, and laundry waste water. For the relatively centralized processing mode, it takes multi-family or whole village as a unit, to construct domestic sewage treatment facilities that are used for centralized collection and treatment of domestic sewages. For the tube management mode, it is deployed for households that are in a village close to a town. Each household will set up a sedimentation tank, and each village will lay down a pipe network through which the domestic sewage will be sent and included in the town sewage treatment plant for centralized treatment. It also encouraged qualified villages to use the ways of artificial wetland or oxidation ponds for ecological treatment.
According to the Plan, in principle the pilot city will select 1-2 counties (cities, districts) to carry out pilot projects. Other cities and counties should also carry out the pilot project at different levels such as counties, towns, and villages, based on local actual conditions. The pilot will be fully launched by the end of the year. In 2020, the successful experience of the pilot will be gradually promoted throughout the province.
On the morning of December 25, Mr. Yu Xinrong, deputy secretary of the Party Group and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of People’s Republic of Chinas, came to Hefei, Anhui Province to survey and research the way of rural domestic sewage treatment and presided over a symposium. Vice Governor of the Province Zhang Shuguang accompanied. Mr. Li Weiguo, Director of the Rural Social Undertakings Promotion Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr. NingQiwen, Deputy Director of the General Office of the Ministry, and Mr. Chen Yongqing, Deputy Director of the Department of Soil Ecology and Environment of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, participated in the survey. Mr. Liu Weidong, deputy secretary general of the provincial government, Mr. Lu Shiren, director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr. Yang Zengquan, deputy director of the department, Mr. Song Zhigang, Member of the Party Group of the Provincial Department of Housing and Construction and chief engineer, and Mr. Wang Minsheng, deputy mayor, attended.
Mr. Yu Xinrong and his entourage went to the Fangfang Center Village, Huangpi Town, Chaohu City for a field study. The village, located in the north bank of Chaohu Lake, is a demonstration village for the construction of beautiful villages in Anhui Province in 2017. During the construction process, the village has newly laid down 9300 meters of rainwater pipe network, 243 sanitary toilets, 2 new public toilets, and a new sewage treatment station that can treat 50-ton sewage each day, making the domestic sewage treatment rate reach 95%. Mr. Yu also went to the sewage treatment station of the Fangfang Central Village and some of the villagers’ homes to learn more about their sewage treatment measures and achievements, and gave his high recognition.
In recent years, by taking the ride of national creation of the first pilot cities of water ecological civilization in the country, Luoyang City has integrated its construction of water ecological civilization to its “9+2” work plan and to its “four-river and three-channel simultaneous improvement”, urban parks construction, sponge city construction, and ancient capital civilization. In creating a civilized ecosystem, it established and improved the financing mechanism in which government plays a guidance role, locality plays as major players, market plays as transaction basis and the public actively participate in. The Xingluohu Park and the Demonstration Section within the Luohe water system comprehensive remediation program, etc. have been completed and put into use, and 83 projects including sewage interception and pollution control, water system connectivity, river/channel improvement, landscape enhancement and wetland protection have also been completed, forming a new pattern of “beautiful and regulated water system and ecological Luoyang”. The Acceptance Committee believes that with realization of “clear water, green shores, smooth roads and public benefits” as the overall goal and with the “four-river and three-channel simultaneous improvement” as the priority focus, Luoyang City has shown off its advanced concepts and reasonable layout, and achieved solid and remarkable and outstanding results. The acceptance committee unanimously agreed to accept the pilot project of Luoyang Water Ecological Civilization City.
It was learned from the Municipal Water Conservancy Bureau that the Dagu River Digitalization, which is the project to enable digitalized management of the Dagu River Comprehensive Treatment, was recently completed and put into operation. The project collects various regulatory data, monitoring data and monitoring video, and relies on big data technology to realize digitalization of objects in the watershed management, visualization of management processes, and scientifically making decisions of management. It provides strong support for river managers at every level to “Manage the river well, manage the people well, and manage issues well” to realize the post-construction objectives that are “unobstructed flooding, sounding dyke, clear water, green shore, and beautiful scenery”, and it explores a new mode of Internet-based water management in the new era.
It is reported that the project has built new, and upgraded the existing, water and rain information collection equipment, and improved the hydrological intelligence network. It built 79 rainfall observation stations, and connected 164 ground and underground water-level automatic monitoring stations along the river course of 170+ kilometers, to realized the real-time forecast and measurement of rainfall and water level at the main streams and at the main water conservancy projects. It has newly put into use 92 water measurement devices for the main streams of the Dagu River, and connected to the 4 water measurement devices at the reservoirs of Chanzhi, Yinfu, Beishu and Huangtong, and built 15 automatic water quality monitoring stations, to realize real-time monitoring of the water and soil conservation and the environment in the whole river basin. It has newly set up 214, and connected to 129, video surveillance facilities to collect real-time video information of the Dagu River’s main stream dikes, river dams, main tributary estuaries, traffic bridges, large and medium-sized reservoirs, hydrological stations and management facilities in the basin. It observes 24 hours a day the backbone water conservancy projects and management facilities, and it becomes the “telescope” for the river’s daily management.
On December 10-13, 2018, EC-Link Team, together with European experts, went to Zhuhai in line with on-going activates related to flood risk management, sea level raise and salinization of sweet water.
In specific the discussion focussed on the best solutions to protect the coastal area located in the East side of the city, at North of Qian Huan new development area. This area was strongly affected by the typhoons during last summer, that generated 31,4 billion RMB of damages, destroying about 7.000 houses and involving about 640.000 inhabitants, more than one third of Zhuhai population (1.7 million).
Zhuhai is already adopting protective measures, but, in light of the impressive consequences of this natural disaster, they are asking for a deeper analysis and further solutions to be applied. As a preliminary indication, European experts suggested that the problem has to be addressed not only at the scale of technical/infrastructural solutions. A more integrated approach based also on the urban scale (in terms of revision of planning choices) and the interaction of the several municipal divisions (environment, planning and economic) is needed.
It was agreed that European experts will provide 3/4 practical applications focussing on specific urgent needs of some part of the coastal areas and the elaboration of a Road Map combined with toolboxes.
A huge amount of ceramic waste in east China's Jiangxi Province has been transformed into a huge pile of cash as part of the ongoing sponge city project.
A sponge city is one in which urban precipitation is absorbed into the groundwater rather than running off into watercourses. The idea is to make better use of rainwater and prevent flooding. These sponge cities typically feature roof gardens, large numbers of trees, vast areas of lawns and permeable pavement.
Several European cities and Zhuhai City in southern China’s Guangdong province are willing to step up further cooperation to embrace resilience strategies after a workshop by the Europe-China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) in Zhuhai from the 12th to the 13th of June.
Resilience strategies in a global sense are when a city understands the challenges it faces; reviews its ability to face them and unites its people, projects, and priorities, so urban centres can act collectively to meet their resilience challenges.
The EC-Link Project invited to Zhuhai senior advisors, experts and urban planners from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bologna and Valencia, who brought proposals for comprehensive urban water strategies and effective European solutions to transforming a city under risk of great natural disasters, such as earthquakes, or floods into a resilient and sustainable city. Attending the meeting were around 100 experts, officials and professionals, including the director of Zhuhai Municipal Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (HURD), chief engineer of Zhuhai MBHURD and leaders from Zhuhai Institute of Urban Planning and Design.
Zhuhai, one of EC-Link’s pilot cities, seeks to identify the best practices of storm management, water management and urban resilience governance. With a coastline stretching 690 km and under the influence of tropical hurricanes during summer, the city is exposed to high risks of extreme weather disasters such as typhoon, heavy rain storm and floods. These threats were epitomized by Typhoon Hato, which inflicted direct economic losses exceeding 20 billion yuan on the city.
The city is poised to revise its general urban planning before 2020 which requires an upgrade of urban resilience in a systematic way. Experts from the European cities reviewed the Zhuhai Urban Planning and Design Technical Guidelines and gave advice on investment decisions, social inclusion and other technical elements. The meeting reflects EC-LINK's continuous efforts to build an EU-CHINA plafform on low carbon and ecological city development. After the meeting, both EC-LINK Project Zhuhai city planners will continue their dialogua in order to evolve pilot proposals and a disaster risk management framework of Zhuhai to assess, plan and enhance the capability of responding to natural hazards.
The pilot project in Zhuhai for building a resilient city will act as a template to provide local experiences and good models of urban resilience for larger-scale or nation-wide practice. China has seen an increasing number of cities with inadequate flood-control measures during its fast urban sprawl. On average, around 200 cities are faced with the problem of waterlogging caused by rain or storms every year.
The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, which was signed by the Chinese government and European Commission in May 2012. The initiative was launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.
China will need more than 1 trillion yuan ($148 billion) to build a massive network of waste water pipelines to reduce heavy pollution in urban rivers, an environment ministry official said on Thursday.
Under a national water pollution action plan published in 2015, China’s cities are under pressure to cut what authorities call “black and stinky water” to less than 10 percent of rivers in urban areas by 2020.
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With population growth, urbanisation and economic development, the demand for freshwater in urban areas are increasing throughout Europe. At the same time, climate change and pollution are also affecting the availability of water for city residents. How can Europe's cities continue providing clean freshwater to their residents? There are three answers giving by European cities, one is paying for the water we use , the second is re-using rain and greywater, and the third is reducing the loss.
Achieving a more sustainable use of urban public water supplies requires not only the implementation of measures such as those outlined above, but also raising public awareness on water conservation issues.Various means are available to inform domestic, business and tourist water consumers, including websites, school education programmes, local authority leaflets and mass media. The eco-labelling of appliances and eco-certification of hotels, for example, can also play an important role in raising awareness by helping consumers make informed choices about water efficiency and conservation.
Zhuhai – April 3rd, 2018
EC-Link Project and Zhuhai Municipality met in the view to strengthen their cooperation within Project’s activities. EC-Link and Hefei municipality have a long lasting cooperation that was expressed in the co-organization of the International Inter-City Lab held in Zhuhai in 2017.
Zhuhai Delegation was led by Mr. Zhaohui Wang, Director of Zhuhai Housing & Urban-Rural Development Bureau, together with Qiancong Peng, Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Zhentao Zhang, Vice-Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Meng Zhou, Vice-Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Zhiming Xu, Director of Zhuhai Municipal Building Energy-Saving Office; Guan Liu, Director of Zhuhai Architecture Design & Research Institute.
Director Wang first of all expressed the importance of the on-going cooperation with EC-Link Project and the willingness to strengthen it in upcoming months. More specifically, he stressed that the dialogue could be based on multiple aspects:
- Green building sector for sustainable urban development
- Land reclamation & harbour city development
- Sponge city & resilient city
- Low carbon urban planning
- Flood prevention for planning & building regulations
EC-Link and Zhuhai agreed to organize a series of training events to be held in May and June, 2018. The training events will see the participation of International stakeholders and experts; at the moment is confirmed that European cities of Valencia (Spain), Bologna (Italy) and Rotterdam (Netherland) will send their delegations to Zhuhai in light of EC-Link “City Network Unit” activity meant to facilitate the dialogue and fruitful cooperation among European and Chinese municipalities.
EC-Link Project and Hefei Municipality met in the view to strengthen their cooperation within Project’s activities. EC-Link and Hefei municipality have a long lasting cooperation that was expressed in the co-organization of the International Inter-City Lab held in Hefei in September 2017. Hefei Delegation was led by Mr. Daoyun Ma, Director, Hefei Urban Construction Bureau, together with Xueqing Hou, Division officer, Hefei Urban Construction Bureau; Shaochen Pan, Chief Planner, Anhui Provincial Urban Planning & Research Institute; Dongbing An, Director, Anhui Provincial Architecture Science Design & Research Institute.
Director Ma, Director of Hefei Urban Construction Bureau expressed his interest in deeper involvement of EC-Link activities. He wishes that future cooperation would tangle their current key challenge on the water contamination of Nanfei River, which is the mother river of Hefei City. Director Ma explained to EC-Link Team that the pollution is mainly due to the incomplete separation of drainage and sewage systems in downtown.
EC-Link Project and Hefei HURD agreed to keep constant communication in order to organize within June a technical site visit that will see the participation of International stakeholders and experts.
On March 23rd, 2018, EC-Link Project participated at the International conference: “The blue challenges and opportunities: from strategy into action - LABIRYNTH OF WATERS”, in Parma (Italy). The aim of this International Conference was to focus on the sub-national and national governments policies in relation to the climate change actions linked to the water management resources: water scarcity, flooding and extreme natural events.
Ms. Dai Guowen, Deputy-Director of EC-LINK Project (Europe-China Eco Cities Cooperation Project) and Director of International Cooperation Center, China Eco City Academy (CECA) delivered a speech on “Water Management in Chinese Cities: Policies and Cases”. Water sector is receiving great attention from both Chinese Central and Local Governments; the presentation was an important opportunity to share, within an international audience, on-going development and results achieved from Chinese municipalities in light of Chinese urban sustainable development.
On September 19-21, EC-Link Project, with the support of MoHURD, EUD and the Hefei Municipality has organized an Inter-City Lab (ICL) focused on water management, solid waste management and clean energy sectors.
The event has seen the participation of 120 delegates representing 8 European cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Hamburg, Liverpool, Mannheim, Valencia and Växjö), 7 Chinese provinces (Anhui, Guangdong, Guangxi, Henan, Hunan, Qinghai and Shandong), 9 Chinese municipalities (Changzhou, Guilin, Hefei, Luoyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Weihai, Zhuhai and Zhuzhou), representatives from local and provincial academies and research centers, European and Chinese experts.
During the event, among the many speeches, Ma’am Tong Guichan, Director of the Division of International Cooperation of MoHURD, affirmed the crucial importance of sustainable development of Chinese cities and the strong support of MoHURD to EC Link Project; Mr. Wang Daorong, Deputy Director General of Hefei Municipality, stated the great commitment of Hefei City to develop more environmental sustainable projects and the great importance of events like Hefei ICL where Chinese cities have the opportunity to share their experience with multiple European ones; Mr. Andrea Claser, Team Leader of EC-Link Project, stressed the full commitment of the Project to be a key component for Chinese and European cities in order to share mutual experiences and hopefully develop long term cooperation; Mr. Florian Steinberg, Senior Urban Planner – EC-Link, provided important insights and specific examples about ongoing Chinese urban renewal and revitalization.
During the three days gathering, European and Chinese representatives have been sharing experiences and knowledge with the intent to create the so called City Network Units (CNUs); these new established working groups of Chinese and EU cities (CNUs) will work together to adapt selected practices/procedures to the Chinese urban context, so to allow an effective know how transfer.
In upcoming months, European and Chinese cities will work together with the intent to develop joint technical teams meant to be the baseline of long term cooperation programs and technology exchange in multiple areas such as: water governance and integrated river basin, zero landfill policy, renewable energy from bio-waste, urban storm water management, district heating from co-generating power plants, waste water treatment for the removal of harmful pollutants, municipal solid waste management, and many others.
Zhuhai, one of the two integrated pilot cities of EC-Link, is planning the regeneration of its river Qianshan. In this process, Zhuhai invited and hosted the EC-Link learning community of pilot cities to discuss sustainable water management practices.
Following an introduction of challenges faced in the frame of the Qianshan river rehabilitation, participants, including representatives of various municipal water bureaus, European and Chinese experts and companies, discussed related issues and came out with a common understanding that innovative technical monitoring and remediation solutions surely are important aspects, however good regional coordination soon appeared a key success factor.
Best practices from England as well as the Liao River management experience in China were shared by Atkins representative and water experts Simon Spooner. Solutions for better water stewardship were suggested by Pin Tian from Bureau Veritas.
An innovative Sino-German cooperation project on wastewater management in Qingdao, semi-central, was presented as inspiration to cities planning for waste water treatment plants, such as Xixian and Weihai. The semi-centralized system, integrating streams of waste water treatment, waste treatment and heat supply, offers a more efficient solution than a centralized option. During the discussions, participants actively debated on the feasibility of replicating this approach with regard to the project financing and general awareness towards decentralized solutions.
Sponge city concepts from various cities in Europe were shared by Dr. Giovanna Rossato, from the architecture and planning firm Progetto CMR, in response to questions from the city of Zhuhai planning its sponge city concept.
Participants were impressed by the interactive format of the workshop and comment the INTERCITY LAB as mind-opening, inspirational and meaningful.