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  Yahoo News 16 Jul 07
Bustling Shanghai to turn suburb into wetlands

Yahoo News 16 Jul 07
Shanghai's next building project: wetlands

The Chinese metropolis of Shanghai is to build its own artificial wetlands to replace natural ecosystems trampled by the city's unchecked development, state press reported Tuesday.

The city will construct a wetland of 15 square kilometres (5.7 square miles) in its Qingpu district to act as a filter for water supplies threatened by pollution, the China Daily newspaper reported.

The wetland will be built around Dianhan Lake, source of about 30 percent of the massive city's drinking water, it said, quoting local planning officials.

Authorities came up with the plan amid rising concern over water supplies following a spate of pollution-linked algae blooms in major lakes in other parts of China that provide drinking water.

Officials said Shanghai's water remains safe, though the paper said many visitors complain it tastes like bleach.

"Shanghai's water source is being threatened, and we have to move quickly. It's crucial to protect the wetlands, which are an integral part of our water resources," said Cui Liping, vice director of the city's landscaping administration.

Officials also will encourage farmers living around the lake to farm "properly" to protect the ecosystem.

The rampant use of agricultural chemicals has tainted much of China's water supplies.

State press have recently warned of a catastrophic recent decline in the nation's vital wetlands as development and industrialisation continue apace.

Toxic algae blooms choked two of China's biggest freshwater lakes, Taihu and Chaohu, in late May and early June, forcing water supplies to millions of nearby residents to be temporarily cut.

More than 70 percent of China's waterways and 90 percent of its underground water are contaminated by pollution, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Yahoo News 16 Jul 07
Bustling Shanghai to turn suburb into wetlands

China's financial hub is planning to set aside 15 sq km (6 sq miles) of its suburbs as wetlands to improve the quality of its water, a major priority nationwide, state media said on Tuesday.

The Qingpu district of Shanghai is planning to develop the wetlands around Dianshan Lake, the source of about 30 percent of the city's drinking water, to act as a filter, the China Daily quoted the district's planning administration bureau as saying.

Beset by growing public concern about soiled land, air, and water, the central government has instructed the local authorities to monitor drinking water more closely.

Many visitors to Shanghai complain that the tap water smells of bleach.

The wetlands announcement comes after a string of algae outbreaks tainted drinking water supplies for millions, with a giant lake in neighboring Jiangsu province one of the worst affected.

The Forestry Ministry held a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday about environment and emissions problems in which Jia Zhibang, head of the State Forestry Administration, said China would speed up forest planting.

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