In China which is under the fast development process of urbanization, the annual mean water shortage is as high as 54billion t. About 300million residents can not get access to clean drinking water. 90% coastal cities in China have to face the water shortage problem in different degrees and this problem is becoming more serious. In order to resolve the water shortage which is a long-term issue, Chinese government decided to reform the water conservancy infrastructure construction substantially by declaring the investment of RMB 2trillion. It also highly advocates the sea water desalination technique. By the end of 2012, China had established 95 sea water desalination projects and the daily output for sea water desalination is expected to increase to 3million m3 in 2020 to the current 770,000m3.
2-6 Distribution Map of China’s Water Shortage Area
For instance, Qingdao’s sea water desalination plant was initiated by Spanish Abengoa in 2010 with the plan expecting to provide 100,000m3 drinking water desalinated from sea water for 500,000residents per day (about 25% of the total population in the urban area of Qingdao). Upon the establishment of Tianjin-based Beijiang Sea Water Desalination Plant and Dagang Sea Water Desalination Plant, China’s sea water desalination capacity has been increased from 1.5million m3 to 2million m3 in 2015. The two plants contribute to about 1/3 of the capacity above.
Figure of Water Resources Consumption Comparison of Qingdao, China
As the sea water desalination technique in China mainland is not mature and the huge energy demand required by sea water desalination and the expense investments and operation costs are not resolved yet, China now has to face the challenge on how to make sea water desalination become the sustainable environmentally friendly and economic water supply scheme in China and how to resolve the energy problem.