Still shiny and minted in the public eye as the world’s second-largest economy, China’s water crisis has been foretold as early as 2002. In their own official mouthpiece, a Xinhua report revealed – (China warned of Water Crisis by 2030, China.org, 2002), ‘Chinese experts warn that by 2030 when China’s population reaches 1.6 billion, per capita water resources will drop to 1,760 cubic meters — perilously close to 1,700 cu m, the internationally recognized benchmark for water shortages.’ Add that to this growing issue of polluted water supplies, and it looks like a big problem. 800 million people without clean water is more than half the population – let us hope the big investment into the clean up goes well without the spectre of corruption ruining it. As with most things about contemporary China, if the top brass set their minds to it the problem will be solved quickly, expediently and increasingly so, creatively.
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Billions of dollars needed to fix China’s water woes
Source – Straits Times, published February 17, 2011
SHANGHAI: China is now the world’s second-largest economy, but hundreds of millions of its people still rely on fouled water that will cost billions of dollars to clean.
Growing cities, overuse of fertilisers and factories that heedlessly dump wastewater have degraded China’s water supplies to the extent that half the nation’s rivers and lakes are severely polluted.
The water pollution has also contaminated rice crops in the country, with up to 10 per cent of rice grown in China contaminated with harmful heavy metals. Read the rest of this entry »