Water Pollution In China

14 Feb

Environmental problems in china should not come as a shock to the international community. The results of a study in 2007 done by the World Bank and China’s own State Environmental Protection Administration, which is now known as the Ministry of Environmental Protection, estimated that 750,000 people die prematurely in China annually from respiratory disease related to air pollution. However, these smog filled skies are no longer the only problem apparent for people in China. They are challenged on a daily basis for a source of water.

In 2011, the Chinese government disclosed that over half the reservoirs and lakes were ‘so contaminated’ that the water us unsuitable for human consumption. This issue of water security is also illustrated through China’s two main rivers; the Yellow River and Yangtze River. As the rivers flow east from west their water requires extensive treatment before it is deemed acceptable to drink.

Last year a team from Greenpeace East Asia’s Detox campaign uncovered an unsettling example of this water pollution. Next to the city of Shishi in South Eastern China they discovered a huge black cloud of wastewater. It can be seen on the satellite image bellow and stood around the size of 50 Olympic swimming pools on the sea’s surface, just off the coast. This toxic water was coming from two of the facilities in-land; it contained a range of hazardous chemicals such as the hormone disruptor nonylphenol, chlorinated anilines and antimony. This is not an isolated incidence. There are 435 similar discharge points into the ocean, such as this one; releasing 32.2 billion tons of wastewater in the sea annually.

water pollution

Policy makers within China aligned this problem with the lack of strong environmental controls and enforcement of these controls. It has been said that the problem is not only due to the pollution of the water in China, but to the fact that there is simply not enough water for the people. The country’s water supply has failed to keep up with the progress the world associates with China’s 21st Century boom.





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