August 10th, 2011 | China Daily Not a green and fair way to use water resources
Golf courses have been reported using ground water to irrigate their greens every day, arousing further concerns about the city’s water resources.
A report by China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday, revealed that the 60 or so golf courses in Beijing use 40-million tons of ground water a year, which is equivalent to the amount of water used by one million residents in a year.
“If that figure is true, it’s unbelievable,” Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told China Daily, adding he strongly disagreed with such a practice.
“The main source of water for residents is ground water. If golf courses are using ground water in such large amounts, it must be depleting the water level and will affect residents,” he said.
Xu Jintao, a professor of natural resource economics at Peking University, agreed with Ma and questioned how the courses had managed to get permission to use the ground water.
“Each company or institute must get a green light from the water resources department first in line with the regulations, or else it is illegal,” he said, adding it might be due to a loophole in the authorities’ supervision.
The report by CCTV found that a golf course by the Wenyu River uses more than 1,000 tons of ground water every day, because the river water is too polluted to use.
“Actually, the rivers that flow through the city, such as the Yongding and Chaobai, have been dry for a long time, while the lower reaches of other rivers are seriously polluted,” Ma said.
The capital is not suitable for establishing a lot of golf courses, he added.
“The most urgent requirements are to control the number of courses and supervise their water usage,” he said.
China Daily contacted about 10 golf clubs and the water authority in the capital, but all of them refused to answer questions.