(The Central News Agency in Taipei on September 6, 2002)

The north and northwestern parts of Mainland China, as well as Beijing, and Tianjin all seriously suffer from a lack of water. Throughout this part of the country, water resources are extremely precious. There is no hiding the fact that the shortage of water resources has become a great but quiet worry to China's social and economic development.

According to a Chinese News Agency report, in both 2001 and 2002, some areas in the north of Mainland China suffered sand and dust storms many times, which were followed by serious droughts. The conflict between the shortage of water resources and social economic development comes up again and again.

The report points out that the problem of the short supply of water resources, which limits the development of the social economy, can't be neglected. Water resources are extremely deficient in Mainland China. The average water usage per person in Mainland China is only the average water usage in other parts of the world. There are 668 cities in Mainland China, but more than 400 cities lack sufficient water.

It was reported that the worsening situation of water resources is not effectively being brought under control. The area subject to soil erosion is 3,670,000 square kilometers, or 38% of the inhabited territory in Mainland China. Nearly half the rivers and 90% of city water supplies are contaminated with different degrees of pollutants. The water environment is worsening the damaged ecosystem, which further intensifies the scarcity of water resources.