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China Uncovers 3,415 Unqualified Rural Hydropower Stations

China has uncovered 3,415 unqualified hydropower stations in its vast rural areas in the last five years, the water resources authorities said in Beijing on Friday.

Most of these hydropower stations were in water-rich provinces in the south, Vice Minister of Water Resources Hu Siyi said. Nearly half were built without design approvals, and 71.9 percent did not receive quality inspection before becoming operational.

By 2006, China had built more than 40,000 rural hydropower stations with an annual electricity output of 15 million kilowatt hours. Rural hydropower currently serves about a quarter of the country's population in half of its total area.

Lax law enforcement, poor management and improper planning had led to many problems in the fast development of rural hydropower projects, Hu said, adding the government would try to finish rectifying the situation by 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2008)

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