‘Quite outstanding’ water threats, spur China to action
Facing serious water shortage threats, China is showing signs that it is starting to take water conservation and pollution control very seriously.
China faces a tougher situation in water resources in the future as demand increases as the country further industrializes and urbanizes, an official said at a press conference Thursday.
Hu Siyi, vice minister of water resources, said water shortages, serious river pollution and the deteriorating aquatic ecology are "quite outstanding" and may threaten the country's sustainable growth.
China consumes more than 600 billion cubic meters of water a year, or about three-quarters of its exploitable water resources, Hu said.
Last week Chinese officials announced a plan to spend 1.8 trillion yuan (USD286 billion) on water conservation projects during the 2011-2015 period
Meanwhile, in another major announcement on Wednesday, environmental authorities in northwest China's Shaanxi Province said that they will start a pollution control overhaul on plants along the Weihe River, the biggest and most polluted tributary of the Yellow River.
Authorities will check pollution control operations for 86 companies, 409 animal farms and 39 sewage treatment plants in the Weihe River basin, said Li Xiaolian, deputy head of the province's environmental protection department.
The 818-km Weihe River, the longest tributary of the Yellow River, originates in Gansu province and flows past major industrial cities in Shaanxi, including Baoji, Xianyang, Xi'an and Weinan.
The river has been seriously polluted over the past two decades as a result of waste discharges from paper mills and other high-polluting plants. Despite years of efforts to curb pollution, the Weihe River remains the Yellow River's most polluted tributary