Water and air pollution and deforestation are the major environmental problems in the Pearl River Delta region, according to a new research report.
The work report, which will form the basis of an environmental protection plan for the region to be released in October, compiles data from nine cities in the delta.
The Pearl River Delta region in South China, a relatively developed and densely populated area, faces the challenge of growing economically while protecting its environment, said Zou Shoumin, deputy director of the China Environmental Planning Institute under the State Environmental Protection Administration.
The research highlights the importance of protecting local water quality, focusing on the need to safeguard drinking water in the Pearl River.
Air quality is also under pressure, according to the report, since many power plants are being built to address electricity shortages during the peak summer consumption period.
Sulphide and nitrogen discharged by power plants during electricity generation have worsened air quality in the region.
Exhaust fumes from the growing number of cars in the province are also adding to air quality problems. The pollution has resulted in frequent acid rain in the province.
Another environmental headache is deforestation, the report notes.
Almost all the cities have overexploited their mountains and hills, leading to serious erosion.
Zou said almost all the nine cities in the delta are expecting their economies to expand rapidly, posing a big challenge to their local environments.
(China Daily August 5, 2003)