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70% of Rivers and Lakes Polluted in China

China has 70 percent of its rivers contaminated and 75 percent over-enriched, according to information from a symposium in east China's Jiangxi Province Wednesday.

Currently, most of China's rivers are menaced with shrinkage, disfunction, contamination and other problems like a decrease of swamps, said Chen Bangzhu, director with the population, resources and environment committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the First National Inland Lakes Symposium Wednesday.

The worsening conditions of these endangered rivers are caused by a booming economy, the expansion of population and irrational development, Chen acknowledged.

Apart from that, other causes also contribute, such as lack of supporting laws, inadequacy of concerned surveillance departments. Without scientific guidance, some rivers are polluted with illegal discharge of waste and overuse of fertilizers.

A ready consequence looming ahead is a shortage of fresh water and frequent floods and droughts.

Inland lakes are important resources. The Tai Lake area in Jiangsu Province, for instance, known as an area teeming with fish and rice, nurtures 3 percent of China's population with its 0.4 percent of the country's territory.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2005)

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