China is revisiting a plan that would see two trillion yuan (£191 billion) spent on attempting to address the country's growing water pollution crisis, reports China Business News. As well as severe air pollution, China has been found to have high levels of water pollution as a result of its fast economic progress. This endangers crops, the environment and human health.
The plan has been submitted to State Council for approval and will see schemes to improve water quality implemented at a faster rate. This will help to improve the environment and safety of China's citizens, according to an official at the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Recent findings suggested that around ten per cent of China's surface water is now too heavily polluted for use in agriculture, according to Li Hanjie, the ministry's vice minister. This has huge implications for health in terms of both farming and providing clean drinking water to all areas of the nation. In some areas around 39.1 per cent of surface water is heavily polluted.
Just as with air pollution, China has taken steps in recent years to deal with the issue of water quality. However, despite these attempts to reduce water pollution, safety issues surrounding water sources keep being reported.
Over the last ten years, China has seen high levels of fast industrialisation and urbanisation, which has meant that wastewater discharges have increased. During 2012, around 68.5 billion tonnes of effluent was discharged; an increase from 2001 of 58.2 per cent. Some of the wastewater that is released has in the past been found not to be treated in line with guidelines, causing higher levels of contamination.
The main driving force behind this steep increase in wastewater discharges is the rise in urban domestic sewage. While this type of wastewater may not be as heavily contaminated as industrial effluent, the amount of discharges cause high levels of pollution.
If the plans are approved and set in motion, it will see the start of a huge project to deal with this growing crisis.