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Analysis of water pollution and ecosystem health in the Chao Lake Basin, China

Hong, J., Guo, X., Marinova, D. and Zhao, D. (2007) Analysis of water pollution and ecosystem health in the Chao Lake Basin, China. In: MODSIM07 - Land, Water and Environmental Management: Integrated Systems for Sustainability, 10 December to 13 December 2007, Christchurch pp. 1966-1972.

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Water crisis is one of the greatest environmental challenges that China is currently facing. Since the 1970s lakes and rivers in China have been undergoing increasing water deterioration. By the 1990s some main water basins have been seriously polluted causing China’s central government to initiate the so-called “three rivers and three lakes” (Liaohe, Huaihe and Haihe rivers, and Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi lakes) project, which is aimed at alleviating or solving water pollution in these water basins.

Chao Lake (or Chaohu, see Map 1), one of the targeted water basins, is the most polluted lake in China. The article first analyzes the status quo of water pollution in the Chao Lake basin, including soil erosion, pollutants and nutrient concentration, pollution from fertilizers and chemicals, industrial pollution and the condition of the water body. Following this, the authors develop an exploratory model to understand the basic reasons causing water deterioration, including natural and human-made factors. The elements of the model include natural features, population, residential activities, economic activities, culture and education and governance.

The paper argues that the restoration of the Chao Lake ecosystem needs a comprehensive policy and governance model at a regional and provincial level, which should also build on the implementation of a national sustainability strategy for China. This will allow China to achieve the goals of its recently adopted National Climate Change Programme.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Publisher: Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
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