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China Vigilant to Water Pollution
The Chinese Government is putting more money and effort into preventing water pollution.

The State Environmental Protection Administration said that 1,590 projects had been listed for construction at a cost of 123.4 billion yuan (about US$14.87 billion) during the five-year-plan period (2001-2005) in a bid to curb increasingly serious water pollution in the country's Huaihe, Haihe, Liaohe rivers and Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi lakes.

Detailed plans have been created by the State Environmental Protection Administration and the State Development and Reform Commission, as well as concerned provinces, and approved by the State Council, the country's highest governing body.

The plans mainly include construction of sewage treatment works in cities, projects for comprehensive river valley harnessing, and water diversion projects.

The funds needed will be raised by relevant local governments, and the state will also render appropriate support in such projects.

The planners hope that by 2005, notable improvement in the quality of water in the three rivers and their main tributaries, and of the three lakes and its tributaries will have been achieved.

Water for the eastern route of the south-to-north water diversion project, which is designed to bring water from the Yangtze River to arid north China, will also meet quality standards.

The State Environmental Protection Administration urged provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities concerned to adjust their industrial structure, encourage environment-friendly production, and place limits on the amount of pollutants discharged into the rivers or lakes.

They were also urged to establish a system to charge fees for sewage and trash disposal, and encourage people to make investments in projects related to water pollution prevention.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2003)

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