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Political Advisors Oppose Excessive Hydropower Development

Chinese political advisors have voiced views against excessive hydropower development to save the nation's rivers from potential environmental damages.


Excessive hydropower development could lead to ecological damages and deteriorating water quality, according to Liu Dehong, former vice director of the maritime bureau with the Ministry of Communications, and five other members of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisory body.


They blamed the record low water levels in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the country's largest, partly on the dozens of dams built on several of its tributaries including Jinsha and Dadu rivers.


They said the relatively less water reserves can no longer dilute pollutants as before, posing threat to people's drinking water supplies.


Large amounts of farmland, forest and wetland have given way to excessive construction of hydroelectricity projects, which are often damaging to the ecosystems, they said.


They said that the construction of too many dams goes against the concept of scientific and harmonious development such projects often seek short-term economic returns at the cost of environment.


Some dams on rivers like the Pearl River and Lancang River pose threat to the life and property safety of the residents living nearby in flooding seasons, according to the advisors.


They suggested the governments set up strict environmental conservation criteria for the approval of new dam projects and further boost the development of energy resources like wind power and nuclear energy.


(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2007)

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