Shanghai residents are expected to be using up to 250 litres of water a day by 2005, which experts predict will lead to major shortages. The Shanghai Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau on Monday announced that total annual residential water consumption in the city of 13 million would reach 1.23 billion cubic metres in three years, an increase of six times the current figure, Xinhua reported. The report said the predicted per-capita water consumption level - which represents an increase of more than 25 per cent over last year's level of 196 litres a day - would be the result of an upsurge in household use. The report added that while residential use had been rising, the municipality's industrial and agricultural water use had been falling. Experts noted that the predicted per-capita figure was above international levels. Cities in developed nations have an average per-capita water use rate of 150 litres a day. Professor Qian Yi of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said the increased demand for water would lead to a crisis because Shanghai's per-capita water supply was only half the nation's average. He also said increased water usage would put further pressure on the city's already overloaded waste water treatment system. The bureau reported that only 40 per cent of the city's waste water is treated. To deal with the impending water shortage, experts have urged Shanghai to adopt more water-conservation measures, increase capacity for treating and recycling waste water and seek alternative water supplies. Shanghai is just one of many mainland cities facing water shortages caused by overuse. Beijing has per-capita water resources of only 300 cubic metres, one-eighth the national average and one-30th the global average.