Exploring Integrated Assessment Approaches
Edited by Desmond McNeill, Ingrid Nesheim and Floor Brouwer
Chapter 5: Agricultural Non-point Source Pollution in Taihu Lake Basin, China
5. Agricultural non-point source pollution in Taihu Lake Basin, China Shuyi Feng, Xiaoping Shi, Pytrik Reidsma, Xianlei Ma and Futian Qu PROBLEM DESCRIPTION Economic growth has been a major aim of the Chinese government in recent decades. This has led to increasing economic welfare for most of the population, but it increasingly conflicts with social cohesion and environmental quality. Urban sprawl is increasing, while agricultural land use is becoming more intensive, leading to reduced areas for natural ecosystems and broader impacts on the environment, such as air and water pollution. Water pollution is one of the most crucial environmental problems in China. According to the 2008 State of the Environment Report by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, China’s seven major rivers (Yangtze River, Yellow River, Pearl River, Songhua River, Huaihe River, Haihe River and Liaohe River) were moderately polluted. The three major lakes (Dianchi Lake, Taihu Lake and Chaohu Lake) were badly polluted, and have entered a state of moderate or serious eutrophication. The focus of this case study is the water pollution due to agricultural sources in Taihu Lake Basin. Taihu Lake is the third largest fresh water lake in China. Its beautiful lake and mountain landscape views attract a large number of Chinese and foreign visitors to come sightseeing every year. It is not only a tourist destination, but also an important drinking water source for large and medium-sized cities within the basin. The lake also serves many other purposes, such as storage of flood water, transport, irrigation...
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