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Environmental Monitoring Capacity to Be Strengthened
China's capacity to monitor the water quality of the Three Gorges Reservoir can hardly cope with the tremendous changes as the reservoir began to conserve water and the water eco-environment in the Yangtze River undergoes complicated changes.

The water pollution control inspection group sent by the SEPA found on June 13 that all the environmental monitoring stations in the Three Gorges reservoir area and in the upper reaches of the Yangtze were mostly built in the early 1980s and were poorly equipped. Its finding has caught the high attention of SEPA and the local governments.

The environmental monitoring, comprehensive analytical and pre-warning capacity of these stations can hardly stand equal to the task as more data need to be collected after the completion of the dam. Their capacity to tackle emergent pollution accidents falls short of the requirements. They are also weak in data processing and transmission.

The group found that they virtually had no capacity to monitor forest and aquatic ecology.

To change this situation, China plans to invest 350 million yuan (US$42.2 million) in 2003-2005 to improve the automatic surface water environment monitoring, data processing and transmission and ecological monitoring capacity of the stations in the valley and in the upper reaches. The automatic on-line capacity to monitor key polluting sources in the reservoir area will be bolstered up.

The group also found that the management, staff and equipment of the environmental administrations in the valley also called for improvement.

(www.cenews.com.cn June 23, 2003)

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