China warns of water shortage in lush Guangdong|
Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:24am EST
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's green southern province of Guangdong is facing a
huge water shortage due to pollution and inefficient use, state media said on
The threat to China's manufacturing centre, which also supplies neighboring
Hong Kong with most of its water, meant that in three years only a third of its
water demand would be met, the China Daily said.
"By 2020, the shortfall will widen to about half of the province's water
demand, or more than 3.1 billion cubic meters, if no measures are taken to
address the problem," Zhang Hong'ou, president of the Guangzhou Institute of
Geography, was quoted as saying.
Zhang said the province had abundant water resources but more than 3.1
billion cubic meters of sewage was discharged into rivers throughout Guangdong
At least 16 million residents, or 14 percent of the city's population, faced
water shortages because of pollution.
"The authorities need to strengthen enforcement efforts to punish polluters
and encourage water-saving measures," said Chen Junhong, a professor at the
The fight against pollution is exacerbated by local governments neglecting
calls to crack down on polluting companies for the sake of economic growth, Chen
The State Environmental Protection Administration said in a statement on
Monday that fines for some polluters of water resources had been raised by up to
five times the previous amount to 500,000 yuan ($67,640).
In a central five-year plan that ended in 2005, water in 26 percent of "key"
lakes and rivers targeted for clean-up across China was so contaminated that it
was classified as unfit even to touch or to irrigate crops.
Emissions of sulphur dioxide, the industrial pollutant that causes acid rain,
grew by almost a third, despite a goal set in 2000 to cut emissions by 10
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; editing by Nick Macfie)
Original article: Reuters
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