China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Underground water contaminated in cities

BEIJING, Dec. 28 -- A senior environmental official says that Chinese cities face serious underground water contamination.

China News Service on Tuesday quoted Vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, Zhang Lijun, as saying that underground water has been contaminated in about 90 percent of Chinese cities.

Zhang Lijun, vice minsiter of the State Environmental Protection Administration speaks at the press conference on November 24, 2005, on the Songhua River toxic pollution. (Xinhua/file)

minister released the figure at an environmental hearing in Beijing, where experts gathered to discuss underground water pollution problems facing Chinese cities.

at the hearing pointed out that despite China's economic boom and social progressover the past twenty years, but the country still has maintained a traditional industrialization mode that produces heavy pollution with a waste of resources. Such economic growth has brought on a serious ecological and environmental situation, leading to a possible crisis in the country, the news service reported.

water provides drinking water for nearly 70 percent of the whole Chinese population and irrigation for about 40 percent of the farmland, playing a key role in social and economic development, the report said.

environmental hearing in Beijing also indicated that organic compounds and minerals have contaminated most underground water resources in Chinese cities. Cities in northern China have been the most polluted with increasingly more pollutants, causing economic losses worth of dozens of billions of US dollars.

Minister Zhang Lijun said that China shall face an even more severe water problem in the coming 25 years due to the growing economic growth.

is reported that the State Environmental Protection Administration (SDEP) has co-sponsored a national scheme on curbing underground water pollution, and a drinking water resource protection plan.

Lijun said that China will adopt national strategies for the protection of drinking water resources in the country, taking full advantage of the current technologies, with underground water contamination and resources survey data, and in line with relevant laws and regulations in this regard.

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