China has announced a multibillion-dollar plan to clean up a
severely polluted lake where an algae bloom forced the suspension
of water supplies to millions of people this summer.
The US$14.5 billion plan to clean up Taihu Lake, in a densely
populated area northwest of Shanghai, should take five years, said
a statement dated Friday and posted on a government website of the
nearby city of Taizhou.
Taihu Lake is one of a few lakes where blooms of blue-green
algae blamed on pollution have disrupted water supplies this year.
Some types of the algae can produce dangerous toxins.
"The plan will control the eutrophication of Taihua Lake in five
years and realize the clear improvement of water quality," the
government statement said. "In another eight to 10 years, the
problem of water pollution in the lake will be basically
The algae bloom on Taihu Lake in June prompted the suspension of
running water in and around the major city of Wuxi for six days,
forcing as many as 5 million people to rely on bottled water.
The algae covered as much as one-third of the 930-square-mile
lake, a popular tourist attraction that has become badly polluted
as the Wuxi area developed into a center for manufacturing and high
Regulators responded by ordering the mass closure of chemical
plants that dumped waste into the lake.
(China Daily October 29, 2007)