Beijing is currently suffering its worst drought in 50 years, and is likely to continue to face this problem when it hosts the 2008 Olympic Games.
Beijing is the driest major city in the world, with average water resources per person one-thirtieth of the world's , and faces a water shortage of 1.1 billion cubic metres in 2008.
Ma Weifang, a state environmental official, said that conservation could help ensure that the situation does not become critical.
One other headache for the authorities is a report that appeared on Tuesday in the state media, that said that the Yangtze river, which may well supply Beijing with emergency water during the Games, was "cancerous" with pollution and could die within five years.
The old adage, when abroad don't drink the water, springs to mind!