Groundwater quality improving as China’s ‘War on Pollution’ takes effect

China is bucking a five-year trend and fighting back in its ‘War on Pollution’, cleaning up its groundwater sources...

Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2017 06 China Groundwater

Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2017 06 China Groundwater

BEIJING, China - Trying to shift an industrialised legacy rendering 80% of its groundwater polluted, China is bucking a five-year trend and fighting back in its ‘War on Pollution’.

The 2016 State of Environment Report released from the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in early June has shown that the decline of groundwater quality is actually being reversed in China.

“Good” and “excellent” groundwater points have increased by 1.4 percentage points in 2015-2016.

Meanwhile, groundwater points marked as “very bad” have decreased by 4.1 percentage points to 14.7%, which falls in line with the wider Water Ten Plan’s target limit of 15% by 2020.

The news will be welcomed from Chinese authorities and the wider environmental community. Between the 2012 and 2015, the proportion of groundwater stations with “excellent” quality fell while the stations rated as “very bad” rose by 2%.

China is now embarking on its 13th Five Year Plan, with its commitment to environment issues appearing to be stronger than ever, according to China Water Risk.

However, the organisation said that to achieve a “beautiful China”, more has to be done, including – at the micro scale – wastewater treatment and other technologies need to become mainstream and more robust, as well as the need for corporations and businesses to adopt water stewardship.

At the World Economic Forum earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland Chinese president Xi Jinping said: “It is important to protect the environment while pursuing economic and social progress so as to achieve harmony between man and nature and between man and society.”

China Water Risk said: “The 2016 report refers to the past year as the starting point for a “successful phase” in environmental protection. Some of the results, such as the improvement in groundwater quality and the expansion of monitoring coverage, certainly support the view that the tide is turning. This is even more evident when considering the significant strides that the revised environmental law has made in enforcing environmental protection.”

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