Measuring 2,200 sq km and boasting 90 islands, Tai Lake lies within the Yangtze Delta plain and provides an industrial and agricultural water supply to the seven surrounding cities of Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Jiaxing, Changzhou, Hangzhou and Huzhou. But this is far from a tourist paradise. One billion tons of wastewater, 880,000 tons of animal waste and 450,000 tons of trash were dumped in its 2-m-deep basin in 1993 alone. Recent efforts to tackle pollution have been thwarted by corruption and mismanagement. In May 2007, a major algae and cyanobacteria bloom devastated the area. Beijing has deemed China’s third largest freshwater lake a major natural disaster. However, despite its toxic composition, Tai Lake continues to provide water to about 30 million people.