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Anhui to invest heavily in fighting water pollution
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Anhui Province in east China will earmark 11 billion yuan (1.57 U.S. dollars) to purify a contaminated lake and a river by 2010, part of the country's efforts in containing water pollution deterioration.

Chaohu Lake will see the implementation of 56 projects, including 19 on industrial waste discharge, 12 on urban sewage treatment, and 25 to improve ecological system along its drainage area, which will cost more than 7 billion yuan (1 billion U.S. dollars).

Chaohu, the country's fifth largest body of freshwater, suffered blue-green algae outbreak last summer, endangered water supply in nearby cities and posed a great threat to aquatic life.

A round-the-clock monitoring system will be established to watch over Chaohu and another six heavily-polluted lakes and reservoirs, such as Taihu Lake, Dianchi Lake, Three Gorges Reservoir, and Xiaolangdi Reservoir.

Nearly 4 billion yuan will be used to carry out 98 projects along the Huaihe River that flows through Anhui on pollution treatment and prevention.

Huaihe, China's third longest, has suffered from excessive discharges of industrial and daily waste from the riverside provinces.

An average 4.4 billion tonnes of waste is discharged into the river every year, leaving only 43.2 percent of the 46 sections of the river's 44 major tributaries passed a water quality test last year.

Since 2006 when the pollution-control initiative was launched, 2.8 billion yuan (400 million U.S. dollars) has been used for the purposes according to a five-year environment plan.

The province is working on another scheme to considerably raise the water quality in the river and some main reservoirs by 2012.

(Xinhua News Agency April 15, 2008)

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