It has been reported that the depletion of Beijing's underground water is causing the ground under the city to collapse, arousing extensive public attention.
UK media The Guardian reported on June 23 that a study on Beijing's subsidence was published in the peer-reviewed journal Remote Sensing. A group of seven scientists using satellite imagery revealed parts of Beijing, particularly its central business district, are subsiding each year by as much as 11 centimetres.
In response to people's concern, the Water Supplies Bureau of Beijing stated on June 29 that although Beijing's underground water is still being excessively removed, the rate of reduction has been eased. It is expected that from 2025, groundwater levels will encounter increases.
It was the first time the Bureau released the statistics of Beijing's ground water levels since 2000, which showed that from 2000 to 2011 the underground water depth had lowered by 9 metres. However from 2011 to 2015 the further decrease of depth was reduced to just 1 metre, which, said the staff of the Bureau, is partly owing to the canal of the South-North Water Diversion Project that began to bring southerly water to Beijing from 2014.
Experts say it is still too early to predict if the canal's water deliveries will help recharge the aquifer and lower Beijing's rate of subsidence. In the meantime concerns about impacts to buildings and rail systems continue.