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Fresh Water Pumped to Stem Salt Tide
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Fresh water from the Yantan Reservoir in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was yesterday discharged into the Pearl River, which has been experiencing a salt tide for two weeks, in a bid to increase drinking water supplies to the densely populated south China river delta.


Under the instruction of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, the Yantan Reservoir administration took the lead in discharging fresh water at a speed of 1,350 cubic meters per second into the watercourses of the Pearl River Delta to alleviate the adverse impact of the salt tide.


The emergency scheme, which was launched yesterday, involves a number of reservoirs in Guangxi and its neighboring Guangdong Province that will jointly discharge more than 400 million cubic meters of fresh water between January 10 and 17.


The salt tide began on December 27 last year, affecting the safety of drinking water supplied to hundreds of thousands of residents living in the cities of Zhuhai and Zhongshan and even Macao. The chlorine content in some drinking watercourses continues to rise.


The salt tide, the worst of its kind in the last five years, was caused by factors including reduced rainfall in the river's drainage area and a powerful tidal wave.


The Pearl River, which originates in southwestern Yunnan Province and eventually empties into the South China Sea, is second only to the Yangtze River in surface runoff.


With a drainage area of 453,690 sq km, it flows through Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces.


(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2006)

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