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The Dianchi Watershed in Yunnan Province

Intense Agriculture and Heavy Chemical Use

Rivers Carrying Heavy Sediment Load

Hog Waste Utilized to Produce Methane for Cooking and Heating



Dianchi Lake Project to Reduce Non Point Source Pollution

Dianchi Lake is one of the five largest lakes in China and is situated on the upland plateau in Yunnan Province . Kunming , the provincial capital is situated on the North Shore of the lake. The lake has been on a downward spiral of eutrophication and is the subject of massive capital projects to reduce to treat wastewater from industrial and city sources that have contributed to the pollution that is damaging the lake.

New East, with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), assisted the City of Kunming by working directly with the Kunming Institute of Environmental Science (KIES) on two critical areas of Non Point Source Pollution to the lake.

Engineered Wetlands

New East provided an assessment of the potential for using engineered wetlands to intercept polluted surface water runoff and reduce pollutants through natural wetland processes. We provided technical assistance to KIES in the design and location of wetlands and in the implementation of environmental and socioeconomic assessments of proposed wetland developments. The agricultural areas in the Dianchi watershed have high population densities and the implementation of a land development program for engineered wetlands has a high socioeconomic impact through the need to displace peasant farmers who work small intensely farmed plots of land.

The project provided an environmental assessment of the present methods of intense agriculture, heavy chemical usage and ancient water management systems for field irrigation. These factors result in heavy sediment and chemical pollution from surface water systems that presently flow directly into the lake increasing the deterioration of the lake and slowing the hoped turnaround from large sewage treatment capital projects.

Non Point Source Pollution Reduction

New East helped KIES understand the sources of non point source pollution that maintain a heavy pressure on Dianchi Lake . The different sources on non point pollution were considered for educational and training programs. There was also found to be a basic need for improved sanitation and appropriate technology treatment of human waste and garbage. New East worked directly with residents of the watershed to determine ways to reduce their contribution to surface water pollution and the environmental decline of the lake.

An education plan was developed to target the key non point sources that increase sediment and pollution loading to the surface waters. The program also stresses the need for appropriate technology through effective composting and increasing the proportion of the population having access to clean water and treated sewage. The education was focussed on the residents of the watershed but more importantly on the officials and planners responsible for future development of the watershed. Key areas covered in the education program included human and animal waste management, surface water sediment and chemical pollution, reduced fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide use, composting and anaerobic digestion.