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December 21, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

New reservoir for city facing pollution threat

POLLUTION threatens the new source of the city's water supply, experts are warning, just weeks after the Qingcaosha Reservoir began supplying homes in Shanghai.

Measures must be taken to protect the reservoir, the city's top advisory body said yesterday.

Water condition at the mouth of the Yangtze River, where the reservoir is located, is threatened by upstream factories, busy shipping traffic and salt tides, according to the Shanghai Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Water from the reservoir is said to be cleaner than that from the Huangpu River, which provides most of Shanghai's tap water.

Some 750,000 Shanghai residents became the first people in the city to receive tap water from the reservoir on December 1.

The 70-square-kilometer reservoir near Changxing Island will provide water for 10 million residents by next June.

But rapid growth of heavy and chemical industries at mid and downstream areas along the Yangtze River, together with fast urbanization, put water safety at risk along the river, the committee said.

Oil leaks from ships and chemical cargoes are other potential dangers, it added.

"Further urbanization is inevitable, which would increase the risk to water safety in the reservoir," said an expert on the committee, who asked not to be named.

However, the city's water authority said safety could be ensured as they had emergency plans in place.

"The authority could shut the reservoir immediately should pollution or salt water tides be identified upstream," water officials said.


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