Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Huge Investment Earmarked for Water Cleanup in China
The Ministry of Science and Technology will invest 350 million yuan (US$42 million) to push the fight against water pollution across the country. The money will be used to develop technologies and equipment for treating waste water in urban areas and to ensure the safety of drinking water.
The money will be used to develop technologies and equipment for treating waste water in urban areas and to ensure the safety of drinking water, according to the Beijing-based China Daily.
Efforts will also be made to advance water treatment in Taihu and Dianchi lakes and in other major rivers and lakes which have been suffering from increasing pollution over the past few years caused by industrial or domestic waste water, the newspaper quoted the department's official Sun Hong as saying.
Dianchi Lake in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province, is the biggest lake in Yunnan.
The lake has been suffering from industrial pollution, quick-spreading blue-green algae, and fertilizer and pesticide pollution, according to the English-language newspaper.
Tsinghua University, which has undertaken a project for reducing fertilizer and pesticide pollution, will provide technology by late next year that will slash fertilizer and pesticide pollutants, Chen Jining, a researcher with the university's Environmental Science Department, told the newspaper.
Chen said the university's technology is also expected to help reduce water pollution in other major rivers and lakes throughout the country.
The Kunming-based Aquatic Organism Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is leading the effort to control blue-green algae, according to the newspaper.
Liu said experimental technology has been tried in a 667-hectare area of Dianchi and has proven effective.
The comprehensive technology, to be completed in three years, can also be applied in rivers and lakes in other regions, said Liu.
China's efficiency in treating domestic waste water is less than 20 per cent on average, much lower than the average 80 per cent in some developed countries, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
"Our efficiency in waste water treatment is expected to reach an average of 45 per cent by 2005, and even 60 per cent in cities with populations of more than 500,000," the newspaper quoted Sun as saying.
The country faces a shortage of water resources and serious pollution has worsened the problem.
Over the past decade, some 70 per cent of rivers and lakes across the country have been polluted. Among the 139 major reservoirs, 21 have failed to meet the State-set standards of water quality because of pollution, according to the newspaper.
In some urban areas, sources of drinking water have been threatened by random discharges of industrial or other wastes.
It is urgent for water purification plants to develop technologies to extract trace elements of organic chemical pollutants, which could be harmful to people's health, Sun said in the newspaper.