Managing Water Resources for Urban Catchments
The overall goal of the project is the development of sanitary and environmental engineering system solutions for sustained water quality improvement in the city of Chaohu. It will involve an innovative approach—Urban Water Resources Management (UWRM)—that provides for efficient sanitary systems in urban and rural areas as well as with the needs of natural aquatic ecosystems. Lake Chao plays a central role as the ecological and economic resource and drinking water source for the city of Chaohu to be protected for future generations. This R&D project contributes greatly to the sustainable development of the Chaohu region and Anhui Provincial Government’s master plan “Ecological Lake City of Chaohu.”
Pilot Region: Chaohu
Lake Chao currently exhibits extremely high levels of pollution (some areas are at the worst Level V). The causes are not only the lacking capacity of water treatment used in industry and in-tense regional agriculture, but also the lack of integrated plans for resilient environmental engineering for urban and rural areas. Many scientific studies have examined the most prevalent pollutants—lake and river sediments contain sometimes high levels of heavy metals, alkylbenzene, and pesticides—but research on technical solutions to improve the water quality has not been substantial. Summer algal blooms in Lake Chao are regular occurrences due to extremely high phosphorus imports, which then results in high levels of cyanotoxins (microcystin, in particular). Lake Chao is the most important source of drinking water in the area, and this severe human health hazard presents an urgent need for action towards improving the water quality.
"Urban Catchments" is part of the German project cluster within the German-Chinese cooperation to the Mega-Water Program in China. The German project cluster is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the area of "International Partnerships for Sustainable Technologies and Services for Climate Protection and the Environment" (CLIENT) under the "Research for Sustainable Development" framework programme. The funding under grant number 02WCL1337A is greatly acknowledged.