Photographer's Note


Dianchi Lake

Under the aircrafts wing, the stewardess told me this is Dianchi Lake, which lies in the south of Kunming. It is compared to a sapphire set on the highland of Yunnan. It is a highland lake, much treasured both in the light of Kunming's perennial spring weather and the splendid scenic beauty of the lake district.

Formed as a result of geological faults and subsidence, the lake occupies an area of about 131 square miles. In ancient times it was called Diannan Lake or Kunming Lake. Surrounded by hills and crisscrossed by streams, the lake basin is spread with thousands of acres of fertile fields reaching as far as the eye can see. Besides, the whole district enjoys a greater prosperity of cultural life. Since olden times it has been a much frequented beauty spot, reputed as the "West Lake on the Highland." Lake Dianchi on the southern edge of the town is the sixth-largest inland lake in China with its 40 km long and 8 km wide. It is severely polluted with industrial and domestic waste, which has led to extensive algal blooms.

The watershed area of Lake Dianchi is the most urbanized region of the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. The lake is an important resource, supplying the area with its water, fisheries, hydro-electric power, and has long been a major tourism draw. Today, however, visitors are more likely to be rewarded by a panorama of green slime than inviting blue water due to organic and chemical pollution. Actually, the lake's water has become murky from the large amount of industrial and domestic waste discharged into it over the last 20 years, and fast-increasing algae is also clogging it up.

According to reports on polluted places, over 12 square miles of the Dianchi is covered by blue-green algae due to eutrophication. Water quality has deteriorated due to untreated sewage, industrial wastewater and agricultural run-off. Both central and provincial governments realize that it is urgent to prevent and control water pollution so as to maintain economic development that is environmentally sustainable. Yunnan Province and Kunming Municipality have developed plans for the prevention and control of pollution in the Lake Dianchi basin, but relatively little has been done to control pollution in the rural areas surrounding the provincial capital, Kunming. Controlling waste and pollution in towns will directly impact pollution in the lake, as villages and townships are main sources of non-point pollution.


Hồ Điền Tr

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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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