A plan intensifying the fight against water pollution in China was released Thursday.
The Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention and Control aims to reduce pollutants, improve drinking water and promote water saving, according to the State Council, China's cabinet.
The aquatic ecosystem has been severely damaged in many parts of China, threatening public health and economic development. Targets for improvements by the end of 2020 include reducing the amount of severely polluted water and containing groundwater contamination.
Specifically, the plan said more than 70 percent of the water in the seven major river valleys, including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, should be in good condition by 2020. The same target is set for offshore areas.
By the end of 2030, more than 75 percent of the water in the seven major river valleys should be clear and black-odor in urban areas eliminated.
Small factories in sectors including papermaking, insecticides and tanning will be shut down by the end of 2016, as they are weak in environmental protection. Bigger projects of these sectors must update their technology to meet emission requirements.
From 2016, a blacklist will name businesses that exceed their pollutant quota, with severe violators risking the possibility of closure.
The document also calls for preservation of wetlands, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. Aquatic reserves should be better protected.
Pollution checks will be conducted every year and the results will be part of performance reviews of provincial officials. The distribution of the funds will also depend on the results.
Officials who fail to handle water pollution incidents effectively and those who fabricate statistics will be held accountable.