HANGZHOU — China’s seawater desalination capacity has grown for three straight years, with 158 sets of equipment installed as of the end of 2016.
The daily desalination capacity exceeded 1.38 million cubic meters, according to figures made public at a forum on water pollution control and ecological protection that ended on Oct 30 in Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.
Nearly 70 percent of China’s desalinated seawater was for industrial use as of the end of last year.
In northern China’s Liaoning, Hebei and Tianjin regions, desalinated water mainly supplies the hydropower, steel and chemical industries. In southern China’s Zhejiang and Guangdong regions, the water is used for human use in coastal areas and islands.
China is one of only a few countries with the overall capacity to desalinate seawater, said Yang Shangbao with the National Development and Reform Commission.
A work plan for the country’s scientific and technological development from 2006 to 2020 considers research on low-cost technology and materials for seawater desalination a key task.
Zheng Genjiang, a senior engineer with Hangzhou Water Treatment Technology Development Center, suggested the government subsidize and better regulate the industry.
The country’s Belt and Road Initiative will help domestic producers tap into the international market, Zheng said.