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|Wednesday, January 17, 2001, updated at 16:50(GMT+8)|
Technologies Key to China's Water Conservancy: officialChina eyes the advance of technologies to solve such problems as water shortages, pollution and disasters like floods and droughts, said Zhou Wenzhi, Vice Minister of Water Resource.
Addressing the National Agro-technology Conference Wednesday, Zhou said that technology development also counts while the country is modernizing its nationwide water conservancy network.
In the past five years, 25 water conservancy projects were put into operation with the country's water supply capacity up over 40 billion cubic meters, helping 28.9 million rural people out of drinking water shortage.
China's annual water supply capacity now totals 560 billion cubic meters. More than 53 million hectares of farming land are irrigated, up 3.8 million hectares in the last five years. However, the total population is estimated to top 1.6 billion in 2030 and the water consumption may increase by 100 to 230 billion cubic meters, with water resources standing at the current level. Thus, the water resources per capita will drop from the existing 2,300 cubic meters to 1,700.
China plans to upgrade irrigating technologies in major farming areas and develop new strains of grain that can make best use of water in the next five years, Zhou said. More efforts will be made
to relieve water pollution and improve the synchronous system to monitor the environment of major rivers, such as the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, he added.
Water conservancy is critical to China's economic growth and social stability as it has long suffered floods and drought in its 5,000-year history, mainly due to the climate that causes the unbalanced distribution of rain.
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