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  • CAS Key Laboratory of Algal Biology Opens South-to-North Water Diversion Project Center in Beijing
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    Prof. ZHANG Cheng-Cai, director of the KLAB, unveiled the plaque for the newly established center with LIU Guangming, deputy director of Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Office, on June 7, 2018.  

    The Key Laboratory of Algal Biology (KLAB) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), affiliated to Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of CAS, opened a research center for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in Beijing on June 7, 2018. The workplace for the newly established center is to be set up in the Water Quality Monitoring Center (WQMC) of Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Office.    

    The South-to-North Water Diversion project is a multi-decade infrastructure mega-project, aiming to channel 44.8 billion cubic meters of freshwater annually from the Yangtze River in southern China to the more arid and industrialized north through three canal systems-the eastern, central and western routes.    

    The South-to-North Water Diversion is not just about water transport. Along with the flow of water comes aquatic lives - fishes, algae, among others - from the southern waters. It is not clear to what extent these species will affect the native bio-ecosystems after they arrive along the route through the diversion.   

    Algae are primary producers in water and play vital roles in water environment. At the bottom of food chain, algae directly shape the other communities in the water. Additionally, those toxin-producing algal species in the southern water, when transported to the northern water, could pose a serious threat to the human and animals who drink the water.    

    “It’s urgent to reduce the negative impact of the south-to-north water diversion on the ecological environment and ensure the safety of the water quality in the South-to-North Water Diversion Project”, said Prof. ZHANG Cheng-Cai, director of the KLAB.    

    So far, the safety of water quality and ecology have been achieved by studying and monitoring the dynamic changes of aquatic ecological communities, especially the algal populations, during the water delivery process.    

    Uniting KLAB’s academic strengths in water quality and ecology, the newly opened center will collaborate with the WQMC to conduct fundamental researches and technology developments in the fields like the protection of water source and the prevention of water ecology risk. Their efforts will focus on ensuring the safety of the delivered water, as well as addressing scientific investigations on the water quality of long-distance water delivery and the water ecological succession in the water catchment area of the middle route in the Water Diversion Project.    

    “With joint efforts, the center would greatly ensure the safety of the drinking water in Beijing,” said LIU Guangming, deputy director of Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Office.  

    (By ZHANG Juyuan, MA Yun)

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