In an effort to combat rapidly dropping reservoir levels, city officials have announced water pressure across the city will be decreased. Beginning March 1, pressure in municipal water pipes will be lower than normal for all but four hours each day.
The Kunming General Waterworks Company issued a statement saying municipal water lines will be fully operational from 4-8pm for the foreseeable future. Similar conservation measures were implemented at this time last year.
Residents living in high-rise buildings or at higher elevations are expected to witness the most noticeable changes in water flow. The announcement recommends Spring City residents help conserve water by taking shorter showers and limiting "excessive" use of water.
Businesses connected with high volume use, such as factories, car washing facilities and swimming pools, have also been urged by the government to restrict use. In addition, a water utility hotline has been established. People wanting to report leaks or broken pipes can call 96106.
Kunming's ongoing drought, which normally peaks during the winter months, has now entered its fourth year. In some population-dense areas, such as Chuxiong (楚雄市), no significant rainfall has been recorded for 130 days.
According to official statistics, 600,000 people in Yunnan currently lack sufficient access to drinking water. Farmland totalling 340,000 hectares has also been affected.
If the past few years are any indication, Kunming could experience further water rationing in the near future. Last year in May city officials instituted rolling blackouts which occasionally led to the water in some apartment complexes being shut off completely.