China development being held back by water shortages
A senior Chinese official has claimed that water shortages, pollution and environmental deterioration have restrained sustainable development in the country, despite large and ongoing water conservation efforts, according to Xinhua.
Although China has made remarkable achievements in the utilization and management of water resources, the country is still challenged by short supplies and uneven distribution in the sector, said Hu Siyi, vice minister of water resources.
Hu made the remarks at a ceremony held to mark the premiere of an educational animated film titled "Finding the Water Spirit," which was created to enhance water conservation awareness among children.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, China's average per capita water resources amount to only 2,100 cubic meters annually, or about 28 percent of the global average.
About two-thirds of Chinese cities are water-needy, while nearly 300 million rural residents lack access to safe drinking water, leading to a national water shortage of over 50 billion cubic meters on average every year, Hu noted.
Meanwhile, excessive exploitation have caused a range of environmental problems, including poor water quality in some areas, Hu said.