Beijing: Preparing for Water Scarcity and Drought

August 19, 2015

This case study examines how Beijing is responding to reduced water supply by converting farmland to forest to reduce water needs, expanding water recycling programs, and promoting more efficient irrigation technology.  The case study also examines how a large national water diversion project may reduce the city’s vulnerability to long-term water shortages.

This report is part of series of six case studies that explore ways that subnational jurisdictions in the United States and China are building resilience to natural hazards, extreme weather, and climate change.

Click here to download the Beijing case study.

These case studies examine efforts to adapt to impacts in three U.S. and three Chinese jurisdictions, including efforts to prepare for:

  • increasing coastal flooding due to more frequent and intense coastal storms and rising sea levels in coastal Louisiana and Shanghai;
  • increasing water scarcity in Austin, TX, and Beijing; and
  • increasing heat waves and urban heat islands in Washington, DC, and Hong Kong. 

These case studies are oriented toward building resilience to the weather and climate related impacts being experienced in each jurisdictions; these actions are not always explicitly linked to climate change, and we do not evaluate the effectiveness or appropriateness of the specific activities undertaken by each jurisdiction.

These case studies were supported by a grant from the Georgetown Environment Initiative and the MacArthur Foundation. The Georgetown Climate Center collaborated with Professor Joanna Lewis at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service on this interdisciplinary comparative research.


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