View Full Version : Rural China in clean water crisis

Jul 2, 2005, 03:34
Rural China in clean water crisis

Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK

China's rapid economic growth has left its rivers polluted and more than 300 million people without clean drinking water, a top lawmaker has said.

The figure showed the scale of the challenge facing China's leaders as they try to tackle pollution.

The lawmaker, Sheng Huaren, said laws to prevent pollution had failed.

Beijing has asked local authorities to improve water standards, but with no promise of funding it is unlikely any action will be taken.

A BBC correspondent in Beijing says more than 90% of urban China already suffers from some degree of water pollution.


But the situation is far worse in the countryside, where the drive for wealth has led to many unregulated factories dumping toxic pollutants into rivers and lakes.

The scale of the challenge was also highlighted by China's senior environmental official, Xie Zhenhua, director of the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

He was quoted by the country's official Xinhua news agency as saying one of the key problems that the government currently needed to face up to and solve was that some local environment authorities do not exercise their law enforcement duties.

"Non-enforcement and lax enforcement of laws and administrative inactivity are the main targets we will aim at," he said.

This week's warnings follow similar alarms issued in March, when officials said that more than 70% of China's rivers and lakes were polluted.


Jul 4, 2005, 08:45
So their economy is growing, yet their water is deteriorating?

This is quite surprising considering the population has not dramatically risen in close recent times.
Why should extra wealth encourage more pollution, I can understand perhaps if there was an increase in the air pollution with extra cars being bought, sound pollution and other factors... but the water pollution?
In the long run, it would seem to make more sense if the large 'toxic waste' dumping companies remedied to ensure adequate wastage removal/dumping...

Does anybody know which companies are feeling compelled to put their fellow population at a high health risk? Wouldn't antagonising Health officials, and raising public awareness, both seem like qualifying factors for the Companies to gain very bad credit in the public eye...?
This would in my opinion evidently damage these companies a lot more than if they perhaps spent a few million cleaning up their act.

On another note, it is frustrating to see countries in predicaments like this, which are avoidable with a little common sense. Not so far away you have impoverished countries like Cambodia, who have to dig a hole and wait for the rainy season to fill this self dug hole. Then for the continuation of the year this water is used for everything that this family could possibly need water for.
They bathe in it, they water their animals in it, they clean their clothes in this same water which as months go by becomes very stagnant often changes colour, and perhaps if the hole was not deep enough becomes mud, and cracks and dries, leaving the family with no water until next the next rainy season.
This is because there are not the resources, not because people are polluting their water by choice. These people have NO choice.

And yet there are still these companies in the world who freely destroy nature, lives, and morals.

Jul 28, 2005, 03:01
AP article: Chinese Farmers in Dispute with Factory (http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5162008,00.html)

Aug 11, 2005, 09:08
India's working on using some coal reserves to create water filters, I hear. Works better than a lot of stuff. Trying it out on the arsenic-laden streams in Bangladesh.