News Feature | July 11, 2014

China May Pour Hundreds Of Billions Into Water Cleanup

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

9chinareg

China is gearing up to spend heavily on cleaning up water pollution. 

China Business News recently reported that the country is reviewing a plan to invest over $321 billion on the effort, according to Bloomberg.

"The plan, which has been submitted to the State Council, will speed up improving water-environment quality and protect its safety, the report said, citing an unidentified official at the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Two calls to the ministry’s news department went unanswered," the Bloomberg report said. 

"About 10 percent of the nation’s surface water was heavily polluted and worse than the level set for agriculture use, the ministry’s vice minister Li Ganjie was cited as saying," Bloomberg reported. 

Wastewater management is a central part of China's pollution problem. 

"Over the last ten years, China has seen high levels of fast industrialization and urbanization, which has meant that wastewater discharges have increased. During 2012, around 68.5 billion tonnes of effluent was discharged; an increase from 2001 of 58.2 percent," according to Pollution Solutions. 

An increasing amount of urban domestic sewage is a key part of the wastewater problem. 

"While this type of wastewater may not be as heavily contaminated as industrial effluent, the amount of discharges cause high levels of pollution," the report said. 

Issues of water scarcity and pollution are dire in China. 

"Pollution numbers are piling up, and they're scarier all the time. Nearly one-fifth of farmland is polluted, an official government study found in April, and so is three-fifths of China's groundwater," Foreign Policy reported.

"Don't worry: China still is a great place to bring your family -- just as long as nobody eats, drinks, or breathes," the report said. 

Chinese citizens know not to drink the water. 

"Few Chinese urban dwellers consider tap water safe to drink - most either boil their water or buy it bottled. [This year], a chemical spill poisoned the water supply of Lanzhou - a city of 2 million people in China’s north-west - with the carcinogen benzene, causing a panicked run on bottled drinks," The Guardian reported

Check out Water Online's Source Water Contamination Solution Center

Image credit: "China-7772 - Li River," archer10 (Dennis) © 2006, used under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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