Seawater can save thirsty country

More government support, including subsidies and a favorable pricing mechanism, is needed for the country to use desalinated seawater to quench its thirst, a top industry expert said.

“The lack of an effective pricing mechanism for desalinated water and support for an operable policy is affecting the development of the country’s sea desalination industry,” said Li Linmei, director of the State Oceanic Administration’s Institute of Seawater Desalination and Multipurpose Utilization in Tianjin.

The country aims to produce 2.2 million cubic meters of desalinated seawater daily in 2015, about three times current capacity, according to a National Development and Reform Commission plan released last year.

Current domestic water prices range from 2.4 yuan to 4.9 yuan a metric ton in the coastal regions, while the price of water for industry ranges from 3.3 yuan to 7.9 yuan a ton, according to ChinaWaterNet.

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