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Water pollution in N China desert kills thousands of birds   

内蒙古查汉淖尔湖周边建工业园区 鸟类成群死亡

内蒙古鄂尔多斯市乌审旗乌审召镇位于鄂尔多斯市西南约150公里,地处中国四大沙地之一的毛乌素沙漠腹地。这里曾是一片荒漠,五六十年代靠人工治沙,建成一片绿洲,被树立为全国牧区大寨。2004年以后,这里开始建起了化工厂,又扩大成化工工业园区。抽地下水,排污水,排有毒气体。短短几年,草场退化、芦苇消失,鸟类成群死亡。 [查看全文]
2014-09-12 13:16 Ecns.cn Web Editor: Si Huan
A dying bird at the polluted lake in Wushenzhao town of Inner Mongolia at the hinterland of the Mu Us (Ordos) Desert. (Photo: the Beijing News)
A dying bird at the polluted lake in Wushenzhao town of Inner Mongolia at the hinterland of the Mu Us (Ordos) Desert. (Photo: the Beijing News)

(ECNS) – A badly polluted lake has been discovered in an Inner Mongolian town at the hinterland of the Mu Us (Ordos) Desert, one of China's largest deserts, according to the Beijing News.

Water from the 10-square-kilometer lake in Wushenzhao has killed a large number of birds, including black-winged stilts, egrets, ruddy shelducks and pied avocets, which are under national protection.

Local herders said more than 10,000 birds died in July. The government has sent people to collect the dead birds and bury them in nearby areas, they added.

The waste came from the Wushenzhao Chemical Industrial Park, which was established in 2004. An insider said the park had pumped polluted water into the lake through a ditch that crossed a pasture. After the herders protested, it abandoned the ditch and dug an underground tunnel to drain sewage.

The Wushenzhao Pasture is a nationally renowned site built on an artificial oasis, but the situation is changing as an increasing number of chemical plants have moved into the area. Pollution and overuse of underground water have worsened the desert environment.

Yet the industrial park is mulling an energy-chemical industry base, according to Fortune magazine. It has even tried to attract more investment by announcing that the area has abundant underground water resources.

Mou Gaungfeng, an officer at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said overusing underground water in the desert could permanently damage the area's ecosystem.

This is the second water pollution incident in a Chinese desert uncovered in the last few days. Earlier reports said the Tengger Desert, China's fourth largest, also located in Inner Mongolia, has been badly polluted by untreated waste from factories. Local authorities said loopholes in regulations were to blame.

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