Underground Water Unsafe in China: Survey
   2013-02-23 20:48:18    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Dan

A person collects water samples from a lake near the city of Luoyang in central China's Henan province in December, 2011. The sample nearly turns red due to pollution. [Photo: Xinhua]

Fifty five percent of underground water in China is regarded as low quality as of 2011, according to an official survey.

In a recent investigative news program, China Central Television (CCTV) quoted the figure from a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Land and Resources, which claimed that more than 60 percent of underground water was safe between 2000 and 2002.

It is reported that many regions are facing water crises because of high levels of pollution. Diseases related to poor quality water, such as stomach and liver cancers have hit some remote rural areas, accounting for a high death rate among local communities.

China's economy has developed rapidly over recent years, but investment into pollution control has not kept pace. Considering the fast pace of China's economic development, investment into pollution control should account for more than 2 percent of GDP if the country is committed to improving its environment, according to Wang Canfa, Professor at the China University of Political Science and Law.

Professor Wang added that such investment should total around 2.5 to 3 percent, but China's investment has never reached the 2 percent level; with the highest level being 1.6 percent of GDP.

CCTV also cited a recent incident of water pollution that triggered public outcry, in which a micro-blogger claimed that many factories in Weifang City of east China's Shandong province discharged waste up to 1000 meters beneath the ground and polluted underground water supplies. The alleged culprits include chemical plants, alcohol producers and paper mills.

Environmental agencies at various levels have carried out investigations into to more than 700 related enterprises in the city since February. However, so far, no authoritative conclusion has been drawn concerning underground water pollution.

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