China’s mounting ecological disaster: prelude to a water and economic crisis?

May 23, 2013CHINA - Steady deterioration of water bodies is one of the most pressing problems facing the world today. In Asia, degradation of water quality and the problems it spawns are so extensive and serious that they are threatening to harm economic growth and affect the health and quality of life of billions of people. China’s high economic growth has had an adverse impact in terms of access, volume and quality of water as well as equity, management and investment requirements. While the magnitude of the water quality problem has steadily widened, planning, management and institutional capacities have not improved commensurately and thus complicated matters further. Water scarcity and pollution of water sources are two of the most serious problems for China. Pollution has now spread from the coastal region to inland water bodies, affecting both surface water and groundwater. More than 53 billion tons of (untreated or inadequately treated) wastewater is discharged into China’s water bodies every year. And as early as 2006, water in a stretch of more than 25,000 km of rivers failed to meet the quality standards for aquatic life and about 90 percent sections of rivers in and around urban areas were seriously polluted. The World Bank estimates that water scarcity and pollution are costing China about 2.3 percent of GDP – 1.3 percent due to water scarcity and the rest as a direct impact of water pollution. Water quality is a bigger problem in North China, where shortage of water prevents pollutant discharges from being diluted. In the northern region, about 40 percent of the rivers have the two worst water quality standards: grades V and VI. This means water is so highly polluted that it is not only unsafe to drink (a serious health issue in itself), but also very difficult and expensive to treat. Pollution is a serious problem in rural areas, too. Ministry of Water Resources data show that more than 300 million people don’t have access to safe drinking water. While in terms of money the cost is a staggering 66 billion yuan ($10.72 billion), the main cost is in terms of human life as diseases like diarrhea, cholera and cancer continue to afflict people. Although the impact of water pollution on health is very serious, it cannot be quantified because of lack of reliable data both on the pollutants and the households that use poor quality water. Water pollution is also harming China’s south-to-north water transfer project. Along the “East Route,” for example, industrial pollution has affected many of the poorer areas of northern Jiangsu and western Shandong provinces, delaying the construction of the project. Speaking at a forum in September 2000, Zhu Rongji, then premier, said the initial stage of the project should follow the principle, “first save water, then transfer it; first clean up pollution, then let the water flow; first protect the environment, then use water.” Unfortunately, more than a decade later, pollution problems along the East Route have still not been fully solved. In addition, industrial accidents and illegal dumping of wastes often worsen the quality of water in rivers and lakes. Such incidents include the Songhua River toxic chemical spill in 2005, the algae bloom in Taihu Lake which polluted the source of drinking water for people of the surrounding areas in 2007 and the dumping of more than 13,000 pig carcasses in the Huangpu River earlier this year. –China Daily
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This entry was posted in Acquatic Ecosystem crash, Civilizations unraveling, Deluge from torrential rains, Desertification, Disappearing Lakes, Drought, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, Famine Threat, Food chain unraveling, Infrastructure collapse, Pestilence Watch, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration, Water Crisis - Conflict. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to China’s mounting ecological disaster: prelude to a water and economic crisis?

  1. Dennis E. says:

    Of all the problems China could have, this is not one and having credible safe sources of drinkable water seems also to be an up and coming crisis, even here in the usa.

  2. Almost seems like China doesn’t want to solve their unsafe water problem…

  3. Irene C says:

    This isn’t good. China’s government might just think it’s cheaper to invade other countries for their water supply than to treat their own water. Just saying…

  4. Maybe , the Water Pollution,which is cause of the lack of “food’s production”, and of the “dryness conditions” in Human Beings, has its real “Impact” upon the “health” of People, in China, nd having its results, in SARS, or the Virus alike …..
    Medelman Edelman Cassin Mary…

  5. Kwazai says:

    What I know of it, one of the early emperors of china had built a series of canals to divert the water from the north. What has happened in recent years has been to build new rather make the older water systems functional again. Where That comes into play has to do with the rainfall areas (the more rain an area gets- the more rain an area gets- catch 22…).
    The industrial side- legislation and enforcement ( and they have as mafioso as any other country does).
    The people side- individual rain catch, sand,charcoal,lime,sub-micron, and copper scrub filtration- little else would be productive.
    I believe Revelations is the wisdom revealed- that a lot of what ‘terrors’ await us is written there. That the rest of the New Testament and Old tell us how to live. How we deal with them is important.
    I would want to pray for the ‘right’ things most days- be careful what you pray for- you might just get it .I don’t think God answers selfish prayers- least wise not mine anyway-just the others).
    L8r

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