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Survey reveals large decline in river numbers

27 March 2013
A major survey on China’s water resources revealed that the number of rivers with a catchment area of at least 100 sq km was less than half the total estimated 60 years ago.

The Ministry of Water Resources’ first ever national census of water found that there were 22,909 such rivers at the end of 2011, compared with a previously estimated figure of more than 50,000.

Huang He, deputy director of the group in charge of the census, attributed the large decline to historically inaccurate estimates as well as climate change and water and soil loss.

Previous figures were compiled using incomplete topographical maps dating back to the 1950s, he explained.

     
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