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Pollution teaches the importance of elixir of life

By Zheng Lifei | China Daily | Updated: 2007-06-05 07:27

Pollution teaches the importance of elixir of life

Workers hired to clean the Taihu Lake of algae look at the vast water body that had been a constant source of drinking water for Wuxi residents. The sudden outbreak of algae contaminated drinking water, prompting residents of the city in East China's Jiangsu Province to hoard bottled water last week. AFP

Gu Zhaodi had never had to think about water. It was taken for granted. In fact, no one in this beautiful lake city of Wuxi had bothered to spare a thought on one of the most vital elements of life.

But all that changed dramatically overnight last week. Taps in the industrial and tourism hub in East China's Jiangsu Province "ran dry". Forget cooking and washing, the city couldn't even supply enough water to its residents to quench their thirst.

"It had never occurred to me that we would not have any water to drink," says the 60-year-old grocery owner Gu. "Since our city is situated on the country's third largest lake, how could that possibly happen?" But happen it did, and all of sudden, on May 28 when the taps in the city began spewing putrid water because of a fast-spreading, foul-smelling, bluish-green algae outbreak in Taihu Lake - the pride of the city and the source of its drinking water.

Pollution teaches the importance of elixir of life

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