Thirsting China

Thirsting China

1 August, 2012
A parched nation
The Asia Water Project: China

Water issues have been plaguing China for years. Increased industrial and agricultural output and urbanization have led to pressures being placed on water resources. The situation is only worsening as a result of increasing water demands, pollution, and inefficiencies.
With these issues in mind, a number of organizations have collaborated to launch the “Asia Water Project: China”, a web portal targeting investors and businesses hat provides information about China’s water crisis and promotes improved water management. Water issues in China received worldwide attention with the launch of the Water Pollution Map in 2006 by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a Beijing-based NGO headed by prominent environmentalist Ma Jun. The map provides public access to information about discharge, environmental quality and companies that are in breach of environmental regulations and more importantly, the severity of China’s water crisis. The Chinese government has warned that all available water supplies will have been exploited by 2030.
Across the nation, water problems are the worst in the North with the Northern China geographic area accounting for 19.6% of the nation’s water resources and 46.7% of the population. This contrasts with Southern China, which accounts for 80.4% of the water resources and 53.3% of the population. In the North, 45% of the water is not sanitary for human consumption compared to only 10% in the South. Water issues in China affect a range of stakeholders, from the communities plagued with health problems due to water contamination to businesses that use vast amounts of water in their manufacturing processes. As water is linked to climate change, changes in weather patterns will lead to further occurrences of flooding and drought, especially in delta regions, which is then linked to issues of agriculture and food security. Action is needed now, at this moment, to push for stronger policies and enforcement of water use. Businesses need to improve on water efficiency measures and work with suppliers to further educate others about the lack of clean water. The collaboration between citizens and NGOs will also be instrumental in spreading the message about water and monitoring of irresponsible water use. The Asia Water Project: China will be an excellent resource and gathering place for business, investors, NGOs and the public to share ideas on water issues in China.
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By: Ecozine Staff


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