Severity of Water Pollution in China
These are really troubling facts about China’s water quality
- 70% of the rivers and lakes are polluted
- 90% of underground water in cities are affected
- Approximately 300 million citizens in China have no access to clean water
WATER POLLUTION IN CHINA
River like blood in Roxian, Guangxi
About one third of the industrial waste water and more than 90 percent of household sewage in China is released into rivers and lakes without being treated. Nearly 80 percent of China’s cities (278 of them) have no sewage treatment facilities and few have plans to build any and underground water supplies in 90 percent of the cites are contaminated.
Water shortages and water pollution in China are such a problem that the World Bank warns of “catastrophic consequences for future generations.” Half of China’s population lacks safe drinking water. Nearly two thirds of China’s rural population—more than 500 million people—use water contaminated by human and industrial waste.
In Yale University’s 2012 Environmental Performance Index, China is one of the worst performers (ranked 116 out of 132 countries) with respect to its performance on changes in water quantity due to consumption, including industrial, agricultural, and household uses. Jonathan Kaiman wrote in The Guardian, “The head of China’s ministry of water resources said in 2012 that up to 40 percent of the country’s rivers are “seriously polluted”, and an official report from the summer od 2012 found that up to 200 million rural Chinese have no access to clean drinking water. China’s lakes are often affected by pollution-induced algae blooms, causing the surface of the water to turn a bright iridescent green. Yet even greater threats may lurk underground. A recent government study found that groundwater in 90 percent of China’s cities is contaminated, most of it severely. [Source: Jonathan Kaiman, The Guardian, February 21, 2013]
In summer of 2011, the China government reported 43 percent of state-monitored rivers are so polluted, they’re unsuitable for human contact. By one estimate one sixth of China’s population is threatened by seriously polluted water. One study found that eight of 10 Chinese coastal cities discharge excessive amounts of sewage and pollutants into the sea, often near coastal resorts and sea farming areas. Water pollution is especially bad along the coastal manufacturing belt. Despite the closure of thousands of paper mills, breweries, chemical factories and other potential sources of contamination, the water quality along a third of the waterway falls far below even the modest standards that the government requires. Most of China’s rural areas have no system in place to treat waste water.
A study by China’s Environmental Protection Agency in February 2010 said that water pollution levels were double what the government predicted them to be mainly because agricultural waste was ignored. China’s first pollution census in 2010 revealed farm fertilizer was a bigger source of water contamination than factory effluent.