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How to Save Our Water System?
Source:Journalist from Science & Vie    Writer:ZHAO Yan    Released on:2013-08-30    

 

 

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Spotlight of the Report:

 

The Future Science Forum
Common Challenges: Responding to Global Issues Collectively

Forum Interpretation: The development of science and technology brought us not only richer and more convenient life, but also greater challenges and larger threats which are magnified by the unpredictability of the nature and the existing pattern for production and consumption of mankind. Currently, the human beings are faced with bigger threats on issues including energy, resource, environment, climate change, etc., which restricts the development of human society and requires joint effort of the mankind to explore frontier technologies, to prepare in advance, and to react timely.

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Nowadays, there are over 247 ‘cancer villages’ in China. Among all causes of cancers, water pollution listed the highest. Specialists believe that 44.3% of the drinking water in rural areas does not meet the basic hygienic standard.


Under such a critical background, we interviewed YANG Dianhai, vice dean of the College of Environmental Science and Engineering of Tongji University. He has long been engaged in education and researches and has directed lots of projects aiming at controlling and governing water pollutions.

 


Discharge of polluters far beyond the ability of self-purification


‘The discharge of polluters in China now has been far beyond the ability of self-purification’ Yang sighed. ‘China’s GDP has jumped to top two globally, but the controlling and governing of water pollutions have not met the original expectations, due to the low degree of drainage disposals and unexpected discharges.


Yang said Chinese research fellows are under great pressure as they have to solve the organic pollutions, nitrogen and phosphorus pollutions and the safety of water system at the same time, while western countries normally solve the three problems step by step.

 


Biological solutions cost the lowest.


Since 1921 the first sewage plant was built in Shanghai, Chinese sewage disposal technology has experienced a great progress. But YANG said it’s still not enough yet as China is such a large country and the average disposal rate is quite low. Large cities, like Shanghai, possess a sewage disposal rate of 90%, but the rates in some rural areas are relatively low.


Journalists were led to a visit in the sewage disposal lab of Tongji University. There are several ways of sewage disposal including physical treatment, chemical treatment and biological disposal. Biological one costs the lowest and was applied most widely.

 

 

 


It’s everyone’s duty to dispose polluted water.


The annual amount of discharging of polluted water is about 35 billion cubic meters. Many factories and plants do not dispose the polluted water and directly pour into the earth. On the one hand, it is because the enterprises lack responsibilities; on the other hand, it is due to the weakness of national law and regulation system.


As for us, we can save water starting with small things. To develop a habit of saving water. No littering everywhere. The media is also responsible for publicizing and creating atmosphere of environmental protection.

 


Sustainable development, sustainable life.


The annual Pujiang Forum will be held at the end of October. Professor YANG has started to get prepared for the forum several months ahead. Last year, he and his colleagues brought discussions about environmental protection technology, air pollution control and water pollution control. Their topics have been broadened this year to sustainable development, global warming, allocation of resources, development of new energies and utilization of waste materials. YANG said we are facing new environmental problems every year and we have to adjust precautions, of which the key is preparation in technology. An important keyword when tackling with the environmental problems is ‘sustainable’. If everyone runs through the sustainable concept into his lifestyle, it is surely believed that our ways of act will be changed. As for now, over 100 people have enrolled online to attend the forum.


‘My job is not abstract at all.’ YANG said proudly: ‘I hope more solutions and new techniques could be found through my own effort. I’m serving the environment and the people.’

 

  (The report is extracted from Science & Vie 2013 September issue. Photographer: A Tu.)