View Full Version : Pollution Leaves Largest Inland Freshwater Lake Salty

20-06-06, 14:49
2006-06-20 16:30:04 Xinhua Excessive discharge of waste water has made the Bagrax (Bosten) Lake in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region becoming salty, endangering one of the leading water sources of the fairly arid region.

The lake, located in the southeast part of the Yanqi Basin in central Xinjiang, has a drainage area of some 1,001 square kilometers and is the largest inland freshwater lake in China.

The circulation of the Bagrax Lake greatly degenerates in recent years as more than 487 million tons of agricultural, industrial and household waste water carrying more than 700,000 tons of salt flow into the lake annually, said Zhang Handong, vice head of the Bayan Gol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture.

Together with some 1.1 million tons of salt brought to the lake by other surface runoffs, at least 50,000 tons of salt deposit in the lake, said Zhang, adding the minerals in the lake rose to 1.32grams per litre in 2005 from 1.17 grams per litre in 2000.

Besides water quality degradation, the wetland around the lake also shrinks, posing a serious threat to the habitat of the birds, like widgeons and wild goose, said Zhang.

The prefecture government has formulated its first lake protection regulation in a move to stop the Bagrax Lake from becoming further polluted.

The regulation gives specifics of environmental protection around the lake and penalties for various violations, said Zhang.

In addition, with a loan of 4.95 million euros from the Austrian government, the prefecture plans to build four waste water processing works from 2006 to 2008, which can deal with 24 million tons of waste water altogether every year, he said.