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China to divide water functional areas

(People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:41, February 08, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

China will divide its major rivers and lakes into nearly 4,500 water functional areas, and carry out differentiated protection and management of different water areas, according to a division plan recently approved by the State Council and released by the Ministry of Water Resources at a press conference on Feb. 6.

The ministry said that it aims to increase the proportion of water functional areas meeting national water quality standards to 80 percent by 2020 and to nearly 100 percent by 2030.

At present, China lacks 53.6 billion cubic meters of water. According to a nationwide survey of over 3,900 water functional areas in 2010, only 46 percent of the areas meet required water quality standards.

Nearly 39 percent of the country’s rivers with a total length of 176,000 kilometers have water quality lower than Grade III, and nearly 49 percent of the country’s 339 provincial border sections have water quality lower than Grade III.

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