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Environmental Damage

(1,785 words)

Author(s): Sternfeld, Eva
Scarcity of resources in relation to its population numbers, as well as disparities in its economic development, are confronting China with environmental impact in several dimensions at the same time. To the "traditional" environmental problems of an underdeveloped and overpopulated agrarian society - deforestation, erosion, desertification, water shortage - have been added "modern" environmental damages due to release of harmful substances (environmental protection), during the second half of the 20th century as a consequence of industrialization. 1. "Traditional" Envi…

Water Management

(2,796 words)

Author(s): Sternfeld, Eva
With its renewable freshwater supply of 2800 km3, China belongs to the countries with the biggest water resources, next to Brazil, Russia and Canada. Per capita, however, China has only one quarter of the world average. In addition, water is not available everywhere in sufficient and steadily reliable quantities. While the north reports precipitation rates that are rather too low, the regions south of the Yangzi not infrequently receive too much. The monsoon climate is characterized by extreme annual rainfall fluctuations, resulting in heavy losses because of droughts and floods. The…