This situation had happened once before with Zhai Sheng. At that time, Qiao Nan was scared out of her wits.

Fortunately, Zhai Sheng had always been very forgiving toward Qiao Nan. He had never forced Qiao Nan to tell him something that she did not wish to. Gradually, Qiao Nan had also let down her guard regarding this.

This time, she was so careless for having slipped so badly in front of Shi Peng. This perked Qiao Nan up and made her more alert. She definitely would not let it happen a third time.

Qiao Nan's heart was thumping rapidly but she gradually managed to calm herself down. "It's not about whether I understand the situation or not. You're from Mo Du while I grew up in Ping Cheng. Hence, I understand Ping Cheng's situation more than you. Three years ago, at the east of Ping Cheng, there was a stream with water so clear that you could see the bottom of it. That crystal clear water even had a sweet taste to it. It was also easy to net small fishes and shrimps from the stream. Especially during summer, if the rain was not heavy, many would go there to catch fishes and shrimps. The beauty of that stream was as per every description of it in school textbooks. However, two years ago, a factory was built on the bare land in front of the stream. As a result, the flow of water to the stream was cut off. That stream has turned stagnant now. It first turned smelly and dried up thereafter. If you visit it now, you could see that the stream has already become a path."

"This is just one of the examples. You came here late and don't know that much. Such situations are not uncommon in Ping Cheng. There're some parts of China with adequate water supply while some facing a serious shortage of water. A source of water is so important to a place that faces a shortage of water. It's not something that people like us, from places that do not face such problems, can understand. One may not feel much initially regarding the damage and pollution of the environment. When the problem is visible, it'll most likely be too late then. Why is it that when the west areas plagued with severe desertification are furiously planting poplar while places like ours with green hills and clear waters are chopping the trees blatantly? With fewer plants and trees, the biggest problem is the loss of soil. The trees are gone but the lands are still around. Once the rainy season of June arrives, with heavy storms and rains, there will be landslides. It's so dangerous for those who live near the hills. You can't imagine it at all. They're staying near the gate of hells!"

Upon hearing this logical and lengthy speech of Qiao Nan which made every sense, Shi Qing looked wide-eyed and tongue-tied. She could not utter a word for some time.

Even Shi Peng was silent for some time. He was deep in thought about what Qiao Nan said.

Regarding the problem of water supply, as a government official, Shi Peng was aware that the country had already researched and even come up with a project to divert water from the south to the north.


It could be said that this major project took more than ten years of meticulous efforts to complete, from its initial proposal and step-by-step detailed research until the final execution.

Relatively, the country spent so much effort, hard work, and monetary resources to support the project of diverting water from the south to the north. It was thus really bad to have a cutoff of water supply in places with adequate water supply.

Water is a source of life. If he really wished to protect the environment from pollution, the development and building of water supply was a major theme and project. He had neglected this point earlier.

Fortunately, Qiao Nan brought this up today. Otherwise, just as Qiao Nan said, by the time he realized, it would have been too late as the problem had occurred.

Right from the beginning, his objective was to stop all the environmental pollution and potential lurking perils caused by economic development as soon as it spelled trouble.

The most frightening words that he heard from Qiao Nan was about the monsoon season.

Although there were no landslides in Ping Cheng now, there were cases of many rocks of various sizes sliding down the hills during the monsoon season, causing accidents and deaths.

It was just that there were not many such cases, and most resulted in injuries, not deaths. The probability of occurrence was not high either. The final precaution that the government and the local departments administered after some short discussion was to put up warning signs near the areas with frequent incidents.

If a major natural disaster, such as landslides, were to occur, these small warning signs would be totally useless.

What Qiao Nan said were all false but there were many issues in it that Shi Peng needed to think about. Shi Peng was thus totally silent as he pondered deeply over the problems brought up by Qiao Nan.

As for Shi Qing, she understood some of it but not all.

Of course, she understood literally what it meant as well as its implications.

However, was it really so easy to resolve such a major issue?

"This, what's happening?" When Qiao Dongliang was back, he saw the three of them surrounding the table in silence and no one was speaking. The house was as quiet as the library. "You are…" Discussing some issues? There should be some noise if that was the case, no?

Reading?

No one was holding a book in their hands.

Then, they were in a daze together?

Nan Nan had been lamenting that she did not have time to study. How was it possible that she would do something so useless? Shi Qing was not that kind of person either. As for Director Shi, for the sake of reforming and opening up Ping Cheng, he was an extremely busy and hardworking man who was always running about and did not have any minute to waste.

With such a combination, they were actually sitting around together in a daze. Qiao Dongliang did not think it was possible no matter how he thought about it.

"Dad, you're back. It's already so late!!" Qiao Nan lifted her head. Ah, it's half-past six in the evening!

"I have not prepared dinner."

"No issue. We'll prepare them together. It'll be faster that way." Seeing that Shi Peng was still deep in thought, Qiao Dongliang dared not disturb him. A character such as Shi Peng, who was a leader at the forefront regardless of whether he was in the army or the government sector, was different from ordinary people like him.

They were worried about daily necessities while Shi Peng was worried about the major affairs of the country and the livelihoods of the citizens.

"Okay." Qiao Nan stood up and cast a weak glance at Shi Peng.

Fortunately, she managed to come up with this information to divert Director Shi's attention from her. Otherwise, she would be in trouble in the future.

"I'll help too!" Shi Qing could not provide much help anyway. She only understood about fifty to sixty percent of Qiao Nan's conversation. Although she understood, it did not mean that she could participate in the discussion and help think of solutions, not to mention that she did not even understand it fully.

After entering the kitchen, Shi Qing asked Qiao Nan secretly, "Do you have any solutions to the problems that you mentioned just now?"

"No."

Upon hearing this answer, Shi Qing felt very disappointed.

If so many problems were to occur, given her father's character, he would start to give his all to his work again. He would work overtime and stay up late for endless nights until the problems were resolved and the citizens in Ping Cheng could lead peaceful lives.

The corners of Qiao Nan's lips curled into a smile. "But I know of a way that can prevent the occurrence of such severe situations and let your dad work less."

Shi Qing's eyes lit up instantly. "I know that you will have a way!! Quickly tell me."

"Very simple. The problems that I mentioned earlier are not that serious in Ping Cheng. Since the problems have not occurred, what we should be thinking about now should not be how to resolve them but to protect and avoid such situations. That's in accordance to your dad's earlier thoughts and plans."

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