BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Authorities have formulated a plan to boost the seawater desalination industry as an alternative to quench the country's thirst for water, China's top economic planner said on Wednesday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said China aims to produce 2.2 million cubic meters of freshwater per day by 2015, compared with 660,000 cubic meters in 2011, according to the 2011-2015 plan, the first of its kind.
The NDRC said it will encourage innovation and upgrade desalination facilities, as well as cultivate a number of desalination facility manufacturers with international competitiveness.
China will also encourage the usage of desalinated seawater. More than half of freshwater channeled to isles and more than 15 percent of water delivered to coastal factories will come from the sea by 2015, according to the plan.
The State Council, or China's Cabinet, released a guideline in mid-February for accelerating the development of the seawater desalination industry to ensure sustainable supplies of freshwater and protect water resources.