SHANGHAI IS sinking by 10mm a year because of the weight of new developments and increased demand on local groundwater supplies.
A report in the China Daily newspaper last month said that the city's rapid development into China's economic capital since the 1980s has put a huge and unsustainable drain on water supplies.
The city, built on an alluvial plain at the mouth of the Yangtze River, is the largest port on the east coast of China.Continued pumping of groundwater is causing rapid consolidation, compounded by huge amounts of construction, including skyscrapers and basements and subways.
Shanghai officials have introduced laws on annual drawing of groundwater to try and reduce the problem - bizarrely, any business using water is officially required to pump back double the amount it extrac ts .
There is further bad news. Global warming is causing the East China Sea to rise. It is predicted that without further action, sea level could rise by up to 700mm by 2050, flooding large parts of the city.