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The results of the first national water census conducted by the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources were released last Thursday. The study shows that since the 1990's at least 1,000 rivers have been disappearing from China's landscape every year. Half of the rivers gone were over 60 square miles in volume. Chief engineer of Sichuan Bureau of Geology and Minerals says the water is disappearing because of unsustainable growth. [Fan Xiao, Chief Engineer, Sichuan Bureau of Geology and Minerals] "Current developments in China are an unsustainable model. This is at the cost of excessive consumption of natural resources. It destroys nature and causes great damage to the people. The government is responsible for it." Chinese state-run Global Times agreed, citing experts who said it was "a direct manifestation of headlong, ill-conceived development." It also said that, "large hydroelectric projects such as the Three Gorges Dam... were likely to have played a role." The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources revealed that there are now 22,909 rivers with over 62 square miles of water. Twenty years ago there were more than 50,000 rivers that size. So where have 28 thousand rivers gone? [Fan Xiao, Chief Engineer, Sichuan Bureau of Geology and Minerals] "The expansion of cities, construction of businesses and industrial parks took the place of landfills over rivers. Also, the majority of water conservation development is derived from intercepting rivers and diverting water. The construction either cuts the river flow off, or simply kills the river." The United Nations has listed China as one of the 13 countries most affected by water scarcity. Official Chinese data shows that waste has led to 40% of China's rivers being seriously polluted. Over 24% of China's water is of such low quality that it is completely unusable. New Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged more transparent pollution policies. Authorities know that the issue of environmental pollution has become a source of...