DEC 11, 2000, M2 Communications - MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Nearly 10 million residents of Tianjin, the fourth largest city in People's Republic of China, will have safer water and a healthier environment through a project for which the Asian Development Bank today approved a loan of US$130 million.
The Tianjin Wastewater Treatment and Water Resources Protection Project has two components that are part of a comprehensive pollution prevention and control program for the Hai River basin. The first component will construct sewer mains, pumping stations and a treatment plant, which will treat 100,000 cubic meters per day of the city's wastewater.
This wastewater component will serve one of the city's six sewer districts, and help reduce the amount of untreated wastewater that flows into the Hai River and Bohai Bay, a key marine and fisheries resource.
The second component will create a 34-kilometer closed conduit to protect Tianjin's sole raw water supply from the increasing threat of pollution, and ensure safe, clean water for the residents of this fast-growing megacity. Providing the closed water supply conduit will enable the existing dual-use open canal system to revert to its original use as a dedicated drainage canal, thereby allowing 40,000 hectares of surrounding flood-prone agricultural land to be brought into productive use.
Urbanization and development along the upstream portions of the city's water supply system have increased the risk of pollution, while over half of Tianjin's wastewater is discharged into canals, rivers and Bohai Bay. "If left unchecked, this growing threat of pollution will have catastrophic consequences on the health and well-being of Tianjin's populace," says senior ADB urban development specialist Matthew Westfall.
The larger, comprehensive model program for river basin management and pollution prevention and control, of which the high-priority clean up scheme is a part, will serve as a model for replication in other river basins in the PRC. The project also encourages tariff reform and cost recovery measures to help eliminate subsidies, and supports corporate governance measures for restructuring of the sewer and raw water supply companies into commercially viable enterprises.
Tianjin is a municipality with the status of a province, similar to Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai. It is a densely settled industrial center which is prioritizing the clean up of its environment. The project will also mitigate construction-related environmental impacts and fully compensate some 10,700 people for temporary or permanent loss of land as well as the 60-odd persons who will be resettled as part of the project.
The total project cost is estimated at $340.7 million. The ADB loan will come from its ordinary capital resources. Other financiers will be China Development Bank and Tianjin Municipal Government. The executing agency for the project, which is due to be completed by end-2005, is the Tianjin Municipal Government.