Bloom warning in Beijing

By Wu Yong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-16 07:19

Water authorities in Beijing warned yesterday that the summer heat had put some of the capital's lakes at risk of accumulating the kind nutrients that cause algae blooms.

The officials also said they had formulated contingency plans to deal with possible blooms and pollution accidents.

"Beijing is facing its eighth consecutive year of drought and the amount of water coming from upstream keeps decreasing. Rivers and lakes do not have enough water supplies, which makes it hard to refresh them," Jiao Zhizhong, chief of Beijing's water authority, said.

Jiao declined to give more details about the contingency plans, but emphasized that water authorities at all levels were working to ensure the quality of the city's water.

The Beijing Times reported that large water blooms had recently hit Shangzhuang reservoir in the city's Haidian District. The water authority reportedly has to send out staff workers to clear the water's surface every three days.

The Haidian water authority rejected the report. "There is some duckweed, but no algae blooms here. And it is common practice to clear away any rubbish floating on the water's surface, such as plastic bags and bottles," said an official from the Haidian water authority.

There are more than 100 rivers, 84 reservoirs and 30 lakes in Beijing. Among them, the reservoirs were the cleanest, with 89 percent of the 16 reservoirs that are being monitored meeting quality standards, according to the Beijing environmental protection bureau.

(China Daily 08/16/2007 page4)

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