China spending $100 billion to start addressing severe water pollution

China launched nearly 8,000 water clean-up projects in the first half of 2017 with a projected total investment of 667.4 billion yuan (US$100.2 billion).

The projects were devised as part of a 2015 action plan to treat and prevent water pollution, and covered 325 contaminated groundwater sites across the country. A total of 343 contaminated sites had been identified, meaning that 95 per cent had drawn up plans to bring water quality up to required standards.

Large amounts of China’s water have been rendered unusable as a result of poorly regulated industrial expansion, overmining and the uncontrolled use of pesticides and fertilisers.

China grades its water in six bands, with the lowest “below grade 5” considered unusable even for industrial or irrigation purposes, and described as “black and stinky”.

Of 2,100 “black and stinky” sites identified, 44.1 per cent had completed treatment projects in the first half of the year, the ministry said, adding that the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning and Anhui had fallen behind.

In a bid to protect rural water supplies, China also identified 636,000 square kilometers of land that would be made off limits to animal husbandry, and it shut 213,000 livestock and poultry farms in the first six months.

12 thoughts on “China spending $100 billion to start addressing severe water pollution”

  1. I’ve been there and i got to say that….water pollution is the number one problem that makes people say that china is a complete sh!t hole…their rivers are like open air sewers running through their cities…
    That’s ignoring the usual ecological disasters like erosion and dust storms, coal smoke blowing around and filling the valleys with haze… china = ecological hell on earth in my opinion…

    • So just like the good US of A, pre-EPA? If you’re old enough to remember, we had all of the above, including the bonus of rivers catching on fire. Good times.

  2. Not like muricans, where they drop tons of tons waste into the oceans and call it “Acidification” because of global warming.

  3. Going to cost a lot more to clean up the mess that was saved creating the mess in the first place. Plus the healthcare cost of the people who will be chronically ill from it.

    • Agreed. Another case of ‘you shouldn’t have let it get this big or bad’ of a problem or issue. It always costs more, wastes more resources and you have countering opposition when you wait too long to tackle a problem.

  4. hope they can make progress, there is little else than maintaining a polution-less neighborhood to make life worth living.

  5. A great way to employ millions of people (and actually improve China) when the export economy stagnates and perhaps even declines. The United States once (1940s thru 1970s) had huge swathes of the nation harboring ridiculously polluted waterways. We still have a lot, tho’ very few now might be designated ridiculously polluted.

    Then we got on top of funding and empowering the EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. One of the most powerful Federal agencies, it turns out. Let ’em loose to ferret out problems; cowed Congress to creatively fund the Superfund, a huge mountain of cash that would be spent on reversing the damage and quelling the causes of pollution.

    Which largely worked. Kind of amazingly, actually. EPA tackled big power stations, coal fired, that were emitting so much SO₂ (sulfur dioxide) gas, that the downwind effluent, mixed with rain, became “acid rain”, which was chemically “burning” huge glades of open forest. All the way into Canada.

    Such a thing.
    Maybe this is China’s EPA moment?
    Let’s hope so.

    The hardest part tho’ is putting together the socio-economic and political power to empower the Chinese EPA with enough claws and teeth to cause a change-in-behavior from their usurious industries. THis is really hard. Democratic societies can do this because the politicians want to be reëlected. Because new politicians will use the call-to-action-and-empowerment as their ticket stump.

    But what about the ingrown toenail politics of China? Can it really do more than just keep people temporarily employed at this grand waterway-cleanup measure? Employed long enough to keep the masses from revolting, or from The West from assessing that their environmental practices are so egregious that perhaps The West declines importing stuff from them?

    Just saying.
    A really powerful Chinese EPA is what’s needed.
    The Commies themselves might be powerful enough.
    But they remain deeply undermined by their communist version of money laundering.


    • The EPA has become too powerful in the US. I.E. atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant while SO2 is.

      Guess that makes it a victim of its own success.

    • “their communist version of money laundering.”? What, pray tell, is the communist version of money laundering?

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