Beijing Water

China to provide potable water for rural residents

Reuters
September 5, 2006

China will invest billions of dollars over the next 10 years to provide drinking water for 300 million rural residents who face shortages or are without access to clean water.

Beijing: China will invest billions of dollars over the next 10 years to provide drinking water for 300 million rural residents who face shortages or are without access to clean water, local media reported on Tuesday. “The Ministry of Water Resources has made it a top priority to protect drinking water resources and provide safe drinking water for the people,” a report in the Beijing News quoted deputy minister Zhai Haohui as saying. Increasing industrial waste and sewage discharge, as well as heavy use of pesticides and fertilizer, has resulted in drinking water being contaminated in many parts of the countryside, the report said. Factories have also ignored pollution hazards and dumped toxic industrial waste into rivers and lakes in China, home to one-fifth of the world’s population but only 7 percent of its water resources. In southwest China, problems have been compounded by the region’s worst drought in more than a century, which left more than 18 million people short of drinking water as temperatures soared above 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit). China has also said it will spend $125 billion on urban water supplies, where the quality has worsened due to pollution and poor management.

 

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