The biggest Chinese metropolis … has been added to the United Nations’ list as one of the six cities predicted to experience severe drinking-water problems in this century.
For starters, we’re not going to bother wasting a cup a day on our stupid basil plant (pictured), since it appears doomed to die. Admittedly our thumbs are far from green, but we defy anybody to keep a plant in a Shanghai apartment for more than about three weeks without it shriveling into a dry, brown husk and crumbling away into the ether.
Our quest to be careful with water looks set to be shared by the Shanghai government, which is considering employing a new scheme to collect and conserve rain.
Recycled rainwater will be used for agricultural irrigation, watering the city’s trees, supplementing water in the park lakes, underground water supplies, and supplying water to schools. [The Shanghai-based Wenhuibao Newspaper] says two and a half billion tons of rainwater is wasted every year, which means if used efficiently, it could supply enough water to satisfy all of Shanghai’s needs.
In other encouraging news, Shanghai’s Tongji University is implementing a plan to recycle the water used in students’ showers. No, not by wheeling it out as drinking water at the dinner table, but by filtering and processing the water and using it to fill a lake on campus (the lake requires 100,000 tons of water a year to maintain its levels).
The article notes that “waste water from showers will be collected and processed to remove hair, soap, shampoo and any other impurities.” Just what is meant by “any other impurities” is not something we wish to dwell on for too long. Certainly not while eating.
Only one thing is puzzling us. Do university students actually take showers? If so, then things have certainly changed since the good old days of campus life.