Mankind should maintain fine relations with rivers and keep rivers healthy for the world's sustainable development in the face of droughts, floods and other water-related disasters across the globe.
The view is shared by water experts attending the ongoing second international forum on the Yellow River, the second longest in China, held in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province.
The four-day forum from Oct. 18 to 21, with the attendance of more than 800 water experts from 61 countries or regions, features the theme of keeping healthy life of rivers.
Participants will explore heated issues on river management and development, and find out solutions to the world's choking rivers.
"Mankind should not exploit water resources at the expense of the existence and water utilization of later generations," Wang Shucheng, minister of water resource, said in a key note speech.
"Most rivers in the world are sick," said Li Guoying, director of China's Yellow River Conservancy Commission. "They are confronting crisis due to immoderate development. And we need to keep them healthy for the sake of us and future generations."
Dry events have been reported in many of the world's major rivers such as Egypt's Nile River and the US Colorado River.
China's Yellow River, one of the world's most complicated rivers and the source of China's most important agricultural areas, also suffered from dry-ups before 1999 when the concept of keeping a healthy life of the river was implemented. Thanks to the construction of water projects and the changes in the ideology of water management, no dry-up has been recorded for six consecutive years since 1999.
Citing China's current management of the Yellow River as an example, Dutch Crown Prince William Alexander, who is also image ambassador for Global Water Partnership, said at the forum that it is the duty of the international water community to work even harder to create smart and safe water systems.
World water academics and experts will debate on issues concerning rivers, post-flood reconstruction, the environment, food and agriculture and international cooperation in the coming two days.
(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2005)