China to develop technologies to prevent water pollution

By Xinhua

Beijing : The Chinese government has decided to invest in a big way in developing technologies to treat water pollution and monitor water body environment, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) here Monday.

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The State Council, or the cabinet, has approved three big programmes worth hundreds of millions yuan for research and development of technologies to treat water and prevent pollution of its rivers, lakes and sources of drinking water, said Zhao Yingmin, a SEPA official.

The programmes will run till 2020, Zhao said.

The SEPA said earlier that 26 percent of surface water in China is unusable, 62 percent is unsuitable for marine life and 90 percent of the rivers running through cities are polluted.

A project under the programme will be carried out at Taihu Lake in the eastern province of Jiangsu. It had suffered a serious blue-green algae outbreak in summer 2007, threatening the tap water supply of more than a million residents in the lakeside city of Wuxi.

“The local environment authority will actively cooperate with scientists to help improve the water quality of the lake,” said Shi Zhenhua, head of the provincial environmental department.