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Water Issues and Sustainable Water Resources Development in China

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With population growth and continued economic and social development, there are many challenges for water shortages due to substantially uneven distribution of water resources among major watersheds in China. This paper presents five important water issues and their representative cases studies directly related to the sustainable development in China. They are: (1) water shortages in North China and South-North Water Diversion; (2) water resources for sustainable agricultural development in the Yellow-Huai-Hai river basins; (3) water utilization for regional economic development versus ecological conservation at lower reach of Yellow River Delta; (4) flood control and stormwater management induced by rapid development of urbanization; and (5) water quality deterioration in major rivers / lakes and integrated watershed management. Even with broad-based effective water conservation plan and pollution control enhancement, water demands for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses still exceed available water supply capacity. The situation continues to worsen, given the increasing demand for clean water during upcoming 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. South-North Water Diversion is the largest and most promising project at all time for the water industry in China, expecting to benefit 300 million people. In light of severe water quality deterioration in major rivers, lakes and coastal waterbodies, this paper provides brief comparative analysis with key water programs by USEPA and promotes integrated watershed management, which emphasizes pollution control over point and nonpoint sources.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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