by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 12, 2011
China is to invest up to 4 trillion yuan ($600 billion) over the next decade to overcome a huge water shortage that threatens the country's economic growth, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The vice minister of water resources said China's unbridled economic growth had left up to 40 percent of its rivers badly polluted and the country faced "huge pressures" on supplies of water.
"Industrialisation and urbanisation, including ensuring grain and food security, are exerting higher demands on water supplies... while our water use remains crude and wasteful," Jiao Yong said at a press briefing.
Over 46,000 reservoirs in China need to be rebuilt or reinforced to ensure that surrounding farmlands and communities are safe from flooding and have enough water for irrigation, he said.
More funding would also be needed to protect the reservoir of the $22.5 billion Three Gorges Dam -- the world's largest -- from geological disasters and pollution, he said.
The government has long held up the world's largest hydroelectric project as a symbol of its engineering prowess.
But the dam has created a reservoir stretching up to 600 kilometres (370 miles) through a region criss-crossed by geological faultlines and critics fear seismic disturbances such as a huge earthquake could cause a catastrophe.
Jiao also said the government would build more water transfer projects and hydroelectric dams and strengthen efforts to ensure the supply of safe drinking water.
China's north suffers regular droughts, while annual flooding wreaks havoc on farm areas in the south.
The government is building a huge $60 billion south-to-north project that aims to divert water to the drought stricken region around China's capital, Beijing.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Space Observatory Provides Clues to Creation of Earth's Oceans
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 06, 2011
Astronomers have found a new cosmic source for the same kind of water that appeared on Earth billions of years ago and created the oceans. The findings may help explain how Earth's surface ended up covered in water. New measurements from the Herschel Space Observatory show that comet Hartley 2, which comes from the distant Kuiper Belt, contains water with the same chemical signature as Ear ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|