28 July, 2008

Pearl River Delta

The Pearl River Delta is one of the most complex urban systems in Asia; it holds over 40 million people. The PRD Estuary (also known as Lindingyang) is 65 kilometers and its surface area totals 2,110 square kilometers. The average depth of the river estuary is about 9 meters.

The PRD is characterized by an enormous range of production activities, including agriculture, power generation, manufacturing, construction, hill fires and trash burning and the rapidly growing use of motor vehicles. Domestic and industrial wastewater discharges and urban storm water runoff are the main pollution sources within the PRD. As a result of excessive discharge, water bodies lose their natural self cleansing ability.

The amount of wastewater in the Delta has doubled from 1986 to 1994. This deteriorating situation poses a serious threat to area drinking water sources, including the drinking water supply to Hong Kong. Pollution also renders the river system unsuitable for irrigation, aquaculture and potential recreational uses and, by damaging fish breeding grounds, it harms other states that border on the South China Sea.

Drawings : Jorge Ayala
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