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Beijing Drafts Rules on Water Resources

Beijing is seeking legal safeguards to prevent water pollution to fulfill its promise made in March in an Olympic action plan.

The drafting rule for the implementation of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution in Beijing was under a second discussion yesterday at a conference of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress and will be put to a vote tomorrow.

Protection of drinking water resources has been given importance by the congressmen in revisions since November. It was also stressed by the plan as one of the two focal points in pollution prevention.

Livestock-breeding farms, tourism facilities, net-pen fish culture and sand digging are forbidden in areas around reservoirs, the draft said. It also requires putting detergents with phosphorous integrant, pesticide and fertilizer under control in the protection areas.

These measures would fulfill Beijing's commitments to improving the water quality of the Miyun Reservoir and resuming the function of the Guanting Reservoir, whose water does not meet the requirements of drinking water because of pollution on its upper reaches, according to Zhao Yixin, director of the municipal bureau of environmental pollution.

The water quality of the Miyun Reservoir has been threatened by hotels and other evidence of tourism development, bureau officials said.

Meanwhile, the city's breeding industry produced 15.7 million tons of waste water that polluted the water directly and filtering to the underground water.

New golf courts, gas stations and chemical plants are required to pass certification before being built at the areas near the drinking water resources, the draft said.

As the nation's key city in water pollution prevention, Beijing faces challenges because the water resource owned per person is only one eighth of China's average figure, according to the environmental protection bureau.

(China Daily May 14, 2002)

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