Water gap outstrips flood threat
2006-02-20 Beijing TimeCHINA'S economic losses caused by water shortages are more than twice those resulting from flooding, a new report shows.
Lack of an adequate water supply led to an average 280 billion yuan (US$35 billion) in financial losses each year, according to the report, funded by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
Researchers also warned that the lack of an adequate water supply will be a major impediment to the country's social and economic development over the next 30 years.
The report indicated that disputes over water supply, pollution and uneven distribution of water resources are challenging the government's goal to build a harmonious society.
Gao Zhong, a senior consultant on water resources, said China's administrative system is part of the problem. Responsibility is shared by the Ministry of Water Conservation, urban planning institutes, public affairs management departments and environmental protection agencies.
"Such an administrative structure weakens the government's power to manage water distribution, prevent pollution and conserve resources," Gao said.