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Hubei backs water pollution control measures

9 April 2014
Hubei province, in central China, is increasing measures to fight water pollution, reported China Daily. The provincial legislature has approved a regulation on preventing and treating water pollution, due to take effect in July, said Zhou Hongyu, its deputy chairman.

The new regulation includes punishment for polluting enterprises and a strict accountability system for officials, Mr Zhou said. Companies that cause pollution will be subject to daily fines until they take measures to address the problem.

Liu Yaming, director of the Yangtze River Water Conservancy Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, said it is important to have laws and regulations on water protection. “Hubei province is leading the way in managing and protecting water resources with the introduction of the new regulation on water pollution,” she said.

Protection of water resources will become an important standard for evaluating the performance of local officials, countering a previous over-reliance on economic growth at the expense of combating water pollution, she added.

Hubei contains abundant freshwater resources, including more than 1,000km of the Yangtze River. It supplies water for many northern regions under the massive south-to-north water diversion project.

However, overexploitation and a lack of conservation measures have led to a sharp fall in lakes water levels, Mr Zhou said. Since the 1950s, the number of lakes has been halved, according to the provincial science and technology department.

Water pollution is another major challenge in Hubei, coming from factories, households and farmland.

Tang Liangzhi, mayor of Wuhan, said the capital of Hubei has been taking a lead in protecting its water resources. Wuhan’s water regulations are among the most advanced in China, Mr Tang said, and it is the first Chinese city to implement a pilot programme protecting and repairing water-based eco-systems.

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