The city of Guilin, in Guangxi Province, has a population of some 940,000 inhabitants, which is expected to reach 1,140,000 inhabitants by 2025. This rapid urban development is mainly driven by the growth of tourism. Safeguarding the quality of water resources and extending water and sanitation services is a priority for the municipality. This is fully in line with the objectives of the 12th five-year national plan. A 2013 Government circular in particular calls on the country’s large cities to provide a high-quality drinking water service to at least 95% of their populations by 2020.
The project aims to increase the city’s drinking water treatment capacity by 200,000 m3 a day for the future supply of the new Lingui, Balijie and airport districts. This will meet the growing needs of a rapidly developing city. The new treatment plant will be supplied by water withdrawn from the Li River, a good quality resource available in sufficient quantity thanks to its ideal location upstream from the city. This project offers an alternative to the supply from the existing individual boreholes and will reduce the health and environmental risks related to excessive and uncontrolled withdrawals from the aquifer. The objective is to preserve water resources and ensure sustainable development.
The project is the second component of a set of three components. The two others are upstream (creation of a river water intake and pumping to a treatment plant) and downstream (strengthening and extending the treated water supply system). They are respectively financed by the promoter and World Bank. The recommended treatment process provides for the implementation of compact technologies which aim to limit the land area of the plant.
- The municipality’s drinking water supply is increased and improved;
- Withdrawals are reduced from groundwater resources which no longer meet needs in terms of quantity and quality.
The course of the Li River, which will supply this plant, is regulated upstream from Guilin by a series of storage dams. This should ensure that there are sufficient high-quality resources in the long term, including during periods of severe low-water levels.
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