The Yodo River basin consists of three major tributary basins (and other small river basins) namely Uji, Katsura and Kizu, which overlap respectively Shiga, Kyoto and Nara prefectures' administrative areas.
Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, drains water through the Uji river. The water quality of the lake, in terms of BOD, continuously improved over the last decade. However, the quality in terms of COD did not show any improvement in spite of a large amount of infrastructure finance being introduced. Eutrophication of the lake still continues, showing no improvement in the nitrogen concentration level. Non-point as well as point source control is not strong enough. There is a gap between BOD and COD evaluations of the lake water quality. Hazardous chemical fluxes are estimated based upon PRTR reports of Japan (2001). PCBs are still discharged into the lake, although the report of Shiga Prefecture showed zero discharge. Dace fish monitoring clearly showed that PCB contamination of the fish had not changed since the 1980s in spite of a ban on use and production of PCBs in the 1970s. There is still leakage of PCBs into the lake. The major exposure of dioxins to Japanese is fish rather than meat and eggs. The risk of water contamination must take into consideration not only drinking water safety but also ecological magnification of food chains in water.
The ecological health aspect of hazardous chemicals is also important, such as organotins with imposex of sea snails. Finally, public participation in hazardous chemical management is very important using the method of risk communication based upon the annual report of PRTR in Japan.