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Norway pitches in to tackle river pollution
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09:18, October 23, 2007

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China and Norway have launched a three-year water management project in the Huangshui River basin, a main tributary to the upper Yellow River, with a total investment of nearly 26 million yuan.

Norway will invest 18.7 million yuan in the project. Xining, in Northwest China's Qinghai Province, where the Huangshui River is mainly located, will allocate 6 million yuan to the project. The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) will spend 1 million yuan on the project, according to figures released at the launch in Beijing yesterday.

"The project aims to improve water pollution control and management in the Xining administrative area of the Huangshui River basin," said Thorjorn Larssen, project coordinator from the Norwegian Institute for Water Research.

The project is expected to focus on areas including environmental information management, methods and tools to improve water supply and wastewater treatment, water pollution emergency response and a pollution control action plan, according to Larssen.

Wang Dong from the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning said water in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River, the country's second longest river, had been severely polluted. Pollutants are mainly permanganate, ammonia, nitrogen and petrochemicals.

Figures from the Xining Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) showed that 70 million tons of wastewater was pumped into the Huangshui River from the Xining administrative area in 2004 - about 85 percent from domestic consumption. Pollution to the Huangshui River from Xining has continued to increase in recent years due to local industrial development.

However, Wang said that in 2005, Xining treated less than 30 percent of its wastewater, with most pollutants flowing into the river without treatment. At that time, the country's average level of wastewater treatment was about 52 percent.

A number of factors left the Huangshui River heavily polluted, including heavy industry and poor wastewater treatment facilities and technology, according to Chen Faqing, director of the Xining EPB.

Source: China Daily

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