China’s environment minister enlists people power to help clean up the country’s “black and stinky” waterways.
Two days before the country’s new environmental law took effect, six polluting companies in east China’s Jiangsu Province were walloped with the most costly penalties ever imposed by a Chinese court. Is […]
China is so bad at conservation that it had to launch the most impressive water-pipeline project ever
(March 17, 2014) Reporter Lily Kuo takes an in-depth look at China’s South-to-North Water Diversion project — the world’s largest water diversion conceived originally by Mao Zedong as a way to relieve North China’s dwindling water resources by “borrowing” from the south of the country. But not even the project’s leaders are pretending the mammoth, ultra-complex, $80-billion scheme will solve China’s water problem. Moreover, it has already created extra problems. Kuo concludes the project is another example of an engineer-dominated government’s fondness for huge-scale vanity projects with a particular weakness for mega-water works. No wonder. Without the man-made institutions — a robust regulatory regime and the rule of law — the Chinese government is bereft of tools to induce the efficient use (and conservation) of water. And so it builds canals and moves water from one watershed to another, creating havoc and perpetuating the problem of China’s crippling water crisis.
(May 31, 2013) The process of diverting water from the Yangtze River through the eastern route of China’s massive South-to-North Water Diversion Project began this week after 11 years since construction began. Although the water diversion intended for drought-prone cities in China’s arid northern regions “will enrich the water supply in the north, its impact on the ecosystem is irreversible,” said Ma Jun, an environmentalist.
(May 25, 2011) Contradicting official claims that the Three Gorges reservoir plays no part in exacerbating the drought in the Yangtze River basin, Ma Jun of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a non-government organization, told Reuters: “Without the Three Gorges Dam, the water level in the Yangtze would not be that low.” Faced with the downstream drought crisis, Three Gorges officials have been ordered to release water, thus hampering their ability to generate power. Added Ma: “Fundamentally there is a conflict between hydropower generation and water supply, irrigation, and navigation.”
(May 6, 2011) Beijing really is trying to turn its water dilemma around. This Circle of Blue – Reporting the Global Water Crisis spotlight looks at what action the city’s municipal government is taking to reverse the capital’s water crunch but finds, in spite of acting with speed and authority, current measures are not fast or strong enough. Zhang Junfeng, a Beijing-based engineer and environmental activist, who has been researching Beijing’s water crisis for years, tells Circle of Blue the government still doesn’t clearly recognize the true extent of its problem and seems to think that as long as the country’s GDP is growing, the capital “can just buy the water” it needs. Not realizing that without water, hoped-for growth will falter.
(January 18, 2011) Developers of hydroelectric plant have redrawn the boundaries of a crucial freshwater reserve for rare and economically important species, writes the Guardian’s Jonathan Watts.
(April 1, 2010) Residents in drought-stricken Beijing are, literally, flushing their water resources away.
A voice in the wilderness is forcing China to heed growing international concerns over the environment
(July 13, 2007) Ma Jun has emerged as the powerful voice of China’s budding green movement.
(May 11, 2007) In the past 12 months, some 120 million tons of household sewage, mostly untreated, have been released into the Yellow River in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province in Northwest China, a report by China Central Television (CCTV) said on Wednesday.
(October 28, 2006) Shanghai: A mainland environmentalist has released a list of more than 30 foreign-invested companies that the government has blacklisted for causing water pollution and accused them of double standards.
(October 27, 2006) Chinese joint ventures with global corporations such as Panasonic, Pepsi-Cola and Nestle are among 33 multinational companies that various levels of government have blacklisted for causing water pollution, according to a non-governmental organization.
(September 20, 2006) The Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, run by author Ma Jun, has launched a ‘name and shame’ website that lists more than 2,500 companies it accuses of polluting the country’s fragile water system.
(September 19, 2006) ‘There needs to be a major shift in the way of doing things — no longer trying just to get permission [for a project] but to lead efforts for public participation,’ says environmental advocate Ma Jun.
(August 22, 2006) ‘Economic growth cannot be allowed to come at a steep environmental cost,’ says Ma Jun, author of a book on China’s water crisis. ‘It is time for the government to cope with the realities of declining water stocks.’