Phosphorus concentration in China’s freshwater lakes declines: study

By Qu Qiuyan


Though phosphorus concentration in China's lakes has significantly declined in recent years, the country still faces challenges in tackling the serious water pollution as the existing blue algae threatens regional water supply, said experts.

An article published by the UK-based scientific journal Nature Geoscience on Monday shows that phosphorus concentration declined by one third between 2006 and 2014, Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily reported.

The conclusion was made after a research team analyzed water quality data in 862 freshwater lakes in four geographical regions of China.

The improvements in sanitation of both rural and urban domestic wastewater have resulted in considerable decline in lake phosphorus concentrations in the most populated parts of China, according to the article.

As one of the nutrient pollutants, phosphorus mainly comes from domestic wastewater and agricultural activities, which can lead to extensive growth of harmful algae upon reaching freshwater, thus resulting in eutrophication, according to the article.

"China has adopted a series of measures to limit phosphorus leakage into the lakes as phosphorus is the leading cause of water eutrophication," Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told the Global Times.

However, phosphorus pollution remains a serious problem in some lakes such as Taihu Lake in East China's Jiangsu Province and Chaohu Lake in East China's Anhui Province, said Ma, adding that stricter measures should be adopted to control pollution.

"China currently has a national unified standard on phosphorus discharging limit, but measures for water quality control should be adjusted to local conditions as the water pollution sources vary in different areas," Ma elaborated.

Source:Global Times

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