15 China Water Pollution Facts That Show Water Quality As A Concern! | Kidadl


15 China Water Pollution Facts That Show Water Quality As A Concern!

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China may be the richest and fastest developing country in the world, but water pollution has plagued the country so that half of its population does not have access to clean and safe drinking water.

Studies conducted by China's Ministry of Water Resources suggest that 43% of state-monitored rivers are too filthy even for human contact. Water contaminated by human and industrial waste is consumed by over two-thirds of China's rural population, which is over 500 million people.

While there can be no doubt that villages and rural areas of China suffer more from the crisis, urban areas and major cities are not immune to the problem either. According to World Bank, cities in Northern China like Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang have a more acute problem with water contamination and shortages than Southern China. 45 % of Northern China's water reserves saved for human consumption are considered unsafe, compared to 10 % in southern China.

China's three greatest rivers - Pearl, Yellow, and the Yangtze are so contaminated that it is hazardous to swim in the water or consume fish from them. The accumulation of industrial and human waste has caused pollution-induced algae blooms to frequently occur in China's lakes, causing the surface water to appear a brilliant iridescent green. What is alarming is that worse dangers lurk beneath the surface of these murky waters. According to a recent government assessment, 90 % of the underground water in China is contaminated.

People in China are regularly forced to drink water that includes harmful quantities of arsenic, fluorine, and sulfates. Every day, an estimated 980 million of China's 1.3 billion citizens consume somewhat polluted water. More than 600 million Chinese people consume water that has been contaminated with human or animal waste, and 20 million people drink well water that has been poisoned with significant levels of radiation. Arsenic-tainted water has been discovered in huge quantities from these drinking wells. Water contamination has been connected to China's high rates of liver, stomach, and esophageal cancer. The World Bank has warned China of 'catastrophic consequences for future generations' as a result of its water shortage and pollution.

Keep reading to discover more about China's water crisis. If you like this article, don't forget to check out China pollution facts and Florida water pollution facts for your next read!

Sources Of Water Pollution In China

Polluting industries like power plants, pharmaceuticals manufacturers, fertilizer manufacturers, tanneries, and paper mills are all major contributors to China's widespread water pollution.

China's water resources have been contaminated by industrial water, agricultural and chemical waste, and urban effluent, to the point where more than half of the country's rivers are unsuitable for human contact. Agricultural waste in the form of farm fertilizer, pesticide, and animal feces is responsible for around 70% of water pollution. In modern times, the presence of heavy metals in seafood and rice has become more widespread, contaminating the food supply through water contamination.

China's air pollution crisis is widely known and elaborately studied and discussed by the local government and environmentalists across the globe, while water pollution of the fast-growing country is often overlooked. When in reality, the seed of water pollution was planted as far back as the 1950s, and from then on, the has crisis has only matured.

Decades of rapid industrialization and strong economic growth in China were fueled by a single-minded focus on development, even at the expense of water quality. Corporations in the country and the West were eager to outsource production to Chinese enterprises that paid low labor and were not subject to environmental regulations. The Chinese government and western customers were only too happy to turn a blind eye as long as it brought the former monetary gains and the latter reduced product prices.

Effect Of Water Pollution In China

The effects of water pollution in China are manifold. The unavailability of clean water for consumption and agriculture, deformities among aquatic animals, the occurrence of serious health ailments among local inhabitants, and widespread contamination of water bodies are the most prominent effects.

Water pollution generated by untreated wastewater and hazardous chemicals is responsible for half of the $69 billion that the Chinese economy loses to pollution every year. Every day, approximately 11.7 million lb. (5.3 billion kg) of organic contaminants are released into the Chinese seas. Waters that formerly teemed with fish and swimmers now lie covered in film and foam and emit foul odors. Floating rubbish such as sun-bleached plastic containers, food wrappers, and grocery bags covers canals, with the deposits being particularly dense on the banks. A paint chemical commonly used in the Chinese industry and often emitted into water bodies has been implicated for deformities in fish such as one or no eyes and deformed skeletons, as well as a decline in the number of already endangered wild aquatic animals like the sturgeon in the Yangtze.

China's environment and polluted waterways have given birth to 'cancer villages', a term that refers to villages or towns where cancer rates have grown drastically as a result of pollution. In Henan Province, over 100 cancer villages are claimed to exist along the Huai River and its tributaries, particularly on the Shaying River. Huai River has a death rate that is 30% higher than the national average. Cancer was a rare malady when the river and its streams were clear and untouched.

In the village of Badbui, one-third of the peasants are mentally sick or seriously ill. Here, miscarriages are common among women, and many people die by the time they reach the age of 40 or 50. Drinking water collected from the Yellow River is the source of the problem for these residents of Badbui. The waterways around Taizhou, Zhejiang, where Hisun Pharmaceutical, one of China's largest medication manufacturers, is based, are so contaminated with sludge and toxins that fisherman claim their hands and legs have become ulcerated, and some have even had to resort to amputation.

According to the World Bank, 60,000 people die each year as a result of water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, bladder and stomach cancer, and other illnesses; therefore, it comes as no shock that China has such a higher prevalence of cancer and birth defects.

China's rapid and dramatic industrialization has severe implications not only for the Chinese but everyone. Day in and day out, polluted water from Chinese waterways is released into the world's oceans. Pollutants from the environment are found in China's food exports. The dirty and contaminated water which has been labeled as useless or unfit for usage is still put to use for irrigation and agriculture in China because if said country's agricultural output suffers, global food prices will skyrocket.

Water and air pollution in China are serious environmental issues.

Types Of Water Pollution In China

Chemical pollution, groundwater pollution, surface water pollution, and nutrient and oxygen pollution are some of the most common and pervasive types of water pollution that have plagued China's rivers and lakes.

The dumping of poisonous and harmful chemicals and toxins like manganese, magnesium, beryllium, tetrabromobisphenol, chromium, and more by factories and mines has caused chemical pollution in many rivers of China like the Haozhongou river in Anhui province, Min Jiang river in Sichuan province, Qingshui river, and more. Although often ignored or overlooked, agricultural waste from fertilizers has ruined the groundwater of irrigation lands. A large portion of China's agriculture continues to be achieved via underground water, of which 90% is polluted.

While nutrients are necessary for undersea plants and animals to thrive, too much of them can disrupt the delicate balance of water-based ecosystems. With a high concentration of nutrients, fertilizers can generate algae blooms in rivers, lakes, and coastal areas, blocking out sunlight and inhibiting the growth of other creatures. Another effect of algal blooms is that they deplete oxygen supplies. Algal blooms make lakes green and choke fish by reducing oxygen levels in the water. Red tides which occur due to this phenomenon are now more common than ever in coastal areas of China like the city of Quingdao, Zhoushan Islands near Shanghai, and Bohai Bay.

Prevention Measures Of Water Pollution In China

It is a mammoth task to clean up China's rivers and lakes, but China's central government has recently increased its efforts to manage and repair water pollution after multiple protests from the citizens and incessant demands and requests of various other countries of the world.

Premier Li Keqiang set aside $330 billion in 2014 to combat water pollution and minimize water pollution by 30-50 %. Drinking water and water consumption standards, wastewater treatment, and pollution management were some of the major areas that were tackled with the fund. This established three 'red lines', which set goals for 2015, 2020, and 2030 in terms of overall water quality, water use, water efficiency, and pollution control.

The State Council released the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in April 2015 with the purpose of expanding water monitoring activities, boosting environmental law enforcement, punishing polluters, and targeting significantly polluting businesses in particular. By 2020, the Plan seeks to cut water use by 23% compared to 2015 levels, update urban sewage infrastructure, and increase wastewater treatment rates. It also mandates that agricultural pollutants be decreased by reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides.

Beijing is shutting down polluting factories, constructing new sewage treatment plants, and modifying agricultural methods. To clean up Suzhou Creek in Shanghai, officials are relocating polluting factories and diverting sewage to the Yangtze River, which then discharges it into the sea. Local officials in other areas have rejected plans to install metal plating facilities due to environmental concerns.

In 2014, the Ministry of Environmental Protection motivated citizen engagement to improve environmental monitoring and governance. It was discussed that by 2020, the Ministry was going to implement a nationwide, real-time online system that would pinpoint and broadcast data on fixed sources of pollution. The Ministry also set up a WeChat account where residents could send in photos of rivers they believe to be overly contaminated, and the Ministry would respond to these concerns and add the information to a national registry of extremely polluted waterways. These projects show that China's government is committed to reducing water pollution.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 15 China water pollution facts that show water quality a concern! Then why not take a look at 25 ever-so curious 21 pilots facts for skeleton clique followers or 50 cool beach fun facts that everyone needs to know now! 

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