Seeing green on China’s lakes and rivers

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The water from tap water supply companies in east China’s Wuxi city became normal Sunday afternoon, ending a water crisis caused by the bloom of blue-green algae which polluted the city’s water source.  Tap water supply for the city began to be halted on May 22, when its major source -Taihu Lake, started to stink with a blue-green algae bloom, due to massive pollution being dumped into the lake. Rich Brubaker over at All Roads Lead to China had this to say about the matter:

10 days ago I had lunch with an executive who had just traveled to see the famous Taihu lake, and the report was not exactly what the local tourist board would want touristswuxi algae reporting.

It was disgusting… so polluted.. there was a green foam all over.

This morning, I was asked by a local CSR manager in Shanghai what was going on. Their people could not drink the water. Could not shower… and water was being sent from Shanghai operations to Wuxi for employees.

The problem (according to 127 publications) is that Taihu lake has, like every fishtank I ever owned, been severely contaminated by algae and has contaminated the drinking water of Wuxi’s 7 million people.

He concluded his article with the thought, “one can only hope that this incident will spur real action…”

Rich’s hopes may have been answered. An article in yesterday’s People’s Daily said the Wuxi water crisis was mainly due to heavy pollution, and not a natural bloom of algae as suggested by the city government. Having been smacked down by the central government, the Wuxi city government said it has decided to strengthen efforts in treating the lake’s pollution after the algae-pollution crisis.

A short postscript to the story: China Daily today ran a series of photographs from Bozhou in Anhui province showing scenes eerily similar to Taihu Lake.

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