Beijing Stadium's mixed record on water

While the Herzog & de Meuron Olympic stadium in Beijing may stand for a huge coverup for its Chinese co-designer -- who sees it as a symbol of progress that obscures China's brutal human rights record -- the building does have its redeeming qualities. Roy Weitzell of Watermark Initiative writes that, "The stadium will include China’s first ever rainwater recycling system, manufactured by GE, and capable of processing 100 tons of rainwater per hour, 80 tons of which will be re-used for landscaping, fire-fighting, and cleaning, thereby lowering the stadium's potable (questionable!) water consumption."

Lest we get too touchy-feely about China's environmental awareness, Roy notes this irony: "The government will also be working to stop rain from spoiling the games, utilizing a number of experimental chemical treatments to make the rain clouds disappear."

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