Mega-Urbanization in Guangzhou: Effects on Water Quality and Risks to Human Health

  • Ramona Strohschön
  • Rafig Azzam
  • Klaus Baier
Part of the Contributions to Statistics book series (CONTRIB.STAT.)


Due to China’s economic liberalization at the end of the 1970s and the institutionalization of numerous special economic areas, Chinese agglomeration areas such as the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in southern China have recorded great economic growth in a relatively short period of time and – caused primarily by national migration – an exorbitant increase in population. Urban areas like Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Dongguan grew from small cities into giant megacities within a short time. Over the course of this development, the PRD has become one of the most dynamic and densely populated regions in China and, moreover, is among the regions in the world with the fastest rate of urbanization (Baier and Strohschön 2007). These dynamic development processes not only led to transformations of the population structure, civic economy and urban morphology, but also to considerable ecological problems and thus to changes in quality of life.


Pearl River Delta Coliform Bacterium Wastewater System Wastewater Disposal Total Coliform Bacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by the funds of the German Research Founda-tion’s Priority Program 1233 ‘Megacities – Megachallenge. Informal Dynamics of Global Change’. We also highly appreciate the editors who provided valuable comments that helped to improve the manuscript. Moreover, we would like to thank Mr Lu Lin for his invaluable support in China during the research stays and Ms Katharina Wiethoff for layout assistance of Figure 14.3.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering Geology and HydrogeologyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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