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Lake Water to Be Surveyed
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An official from the Ministry of Water Resources said recently at a symposium that what was clear about China's current ecological problems was water pollution of lakes in east regions and their shrinkage in west regions. The ministry and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are losing no time in working out a “Sound Lake Indices System” which will be used in a general assessment of all the Chinese lakes.


Xu Xinyi, an official with the Water Resources Department of the ministry, made these remarks at the Lake Protection and Qinghai Lake's Sustainable Development Symposium held from August 4 to 7 in Xining, western China's Qinghai Province. Xu said there were both objective and subjective reasons for the current ecological problems with lakes.


But, Xu explained, it was the subjective reasons which were playing the major role. Unreasonable utilization of water resources had caused the disappearance of many lakes. Guided by the idea that "grain production is of the top priority", water from many lakes was used excessively for irrigation. In addition waste water and pollution had led to other ecological problems.


According to Wen Kegang, deputy director of the Committee of Population, Resources and Environment of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), 70 percent of Chinese lakes had been polluted and 75 percent had suffered eutrophication to varying degrees.


To cope with these problems, the Ministry of Water Resources and the National Reform and Development Commission were issuing a Development Plan for a Water-saving Society in the near future.


The water rights regulations were also been being promoted actively, Xu said. At present, the public is not very concerned about water protection because governments take responsibility for most of the undertakings. If the regulations are implemented, the ownership of water rights could be clarified and the protection of the resource would receive wider support and utilization would be more efficient.


“In the past, more attention has been paid to water for living and industrial uses but water in the natural environment was neglected,” said Xu. Projects which allow cultivated land to revert to lakes and forests to water would be launched in some areas so as to reduce human interference in water resources and preserve a sound lake ecology, he explained.


( by Zhang Tingting, August 10, 2006)

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