China unveils plan to safeguard water security
Baiyangdian, the biggest fresh water lake in north China, significantly improved in 2021, according to the ecology and environment department of Hebei Province, where the lake is located.
Surface water quality in China is divided into five classes, with Class I being the highest quality. In 2021, the overall water quality of Baiyangdian Lake was upgraded to Class III (good quality) from Class IV in general.
It is the first time that the lake's water quality has been this good since it began to have water again and monitoring of its water quality started in 1988. The lake had been completely dry between 1983 and 1987.
Before 2019, the lake had long been graded as Class V for its poor water quality.
Last year, the lake's major pollutants showed a sharp decrease. Its chemical oxygen demand dipped 16.8 percent compared to the same period of the prior year and total phosphorus dropped 30.4 percent year on year.
In April 2017, China announced the establishment of the Xiong'an New Area, which is about 100 km southwest of Beijing and spans three counties in Hebei Province.
Ecological restoration in Baiyangdian Lake has accelerated since the Xiong'an New Area was set up.