How can leaders tackle with water pollution in China?
3 main causes of water pollution in China:
1. Rapid industrialisation
3. Modified and intense agricultural activities
Control of water pollution
The National Five-year Plan for Environmental Protection
Circular Economy Pollution Law
Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution Conclusion
Various local and foreign media institutes have reported the serious water pollution in China. According to the Diplomat, “Up to 40% of China’s rivers were seriously polluted and 20% were so polluted their water quality was rated too toxic even to come into contact with”.1 Rapid development on industry in China was irritated by several big events such as, diplomatic relationship with Sino-Soviet, the Great Leap, and the chaos of Cultural Revolution. High demand of industrial development was necessary for rapid construction of China. Correspondingly, environment health was despised until 90s. Environmental issues started to be concerned after numbers of earthquakes, floods and unusual sights happened recently, such as Yangtze River turns blood red in Chongqing. Water pollution in China are usually triggered as accidents. Uncontrollable wastewater discharges are usually caused by the inadequate wastewater storage and sewage treatment facilities. Industrial wastewater outflows, and such accidents lead to reduction of fresh drinking water supply as the fresh water is used to dilute the pollutant released immediately. The causes of degradation of fresh drinking water level are diverted into 3 main aspects in this report: Rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and modernised intense agriculture activities.
Along with the hugely growth of economy in China, the production of industrial wastewater expands slowly and steadily throughout the recent 4 decades. Due to the transition to a market-based economy, state-owned enterprises2 have making a declining contribution to the overall China’s economy, while the town-village enterprises are playing a large role. TVEs are market-oriented public enterprises under the purview of local governments based in townships and villages with majority of investment from rural collective organisations of industrial owners or farmers3. TVEs have largely pushed the economy growth rate and have resulted extraordinary pressure on natural resources, particularly water in China. In 1978, TVEs employed 105.8 million people and outputted only 49.3 billion Yuan. And its output has increased to 1798 billion in 19924. This dramatic growth in GDP output leads to a huge amount of discharging wastewater. Among the TVEs, town-village industrial enterprises (TVIEs) account for the majority of TVEs. TVIEs’ total output accounted for 23.8% of the total industrial output in 1989 while its total output accounted increased to 42% in 1994. In 1995, 5.9 billion tons of wastewater was discharged which is 21% of the wastewater discharged worldwide.5 The majority of pollutants exceeds the national standards for drinking water quality. Among all various pollutants, mercury concentrations were 45-700% greater than the standard, whereas lead concentration exceed 3600-5200% of the standard2. Another toxic metal found in the wastewater included Cyanide and Cadmium, which are highly poisoning of humans and one of the element used in batteries respectively6. For Cyanide, more significantly, its compound hydrogen cyanide was released extensively in the massive murders of the Holocaust in extermination camps7. Besides the heavy mental found in the wastewater, two main pollutants Pentachlorophenol and Santobrite were the major source of increasing risk of liver cancer to human health. Until now, China has the highest liver mortality rate in the world, especially concentrated in the TVIEs polluted area examined. Although diet and alcoholic consumption may affect the increased...
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