Chinese authorities on Monday launched a campaign against water pollution in cities, with inspection teams sent to provincial regions to check on progress in urban water pollution control.
The first batch of teams have been sent to inspect 20 cities in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hunan and Hubei, focusing on "black odorous water," or sewage and garbage discharge issues, said the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
The campaign aims to accelerate the construction of environmental protection infrastructure and facilities so the urban water environment will be fundamentally improved, the ministry said.
China set a target to eliminate 90 percent of "black odorous water" in major cities by the end of last year, while that in all cities at the prefectural level and above should have been reduced by an average of 60 percent, according to a national action plan.
Inspection teams will be sent to 36 major cities and some prefectural-level cities in May and June, and they may inspect again later this year to see whether problems have been solved, said the ministry.
Besides water quality data, public satisfaction will be taken into consideration as a primary factor when assessing water pollution control work, it said.
The government has passed its toughest-ever environmental protection law and introduced a "river chief" system to protect water resources. Ecological "red lines" will also be drawn in certain regions to strengthen environmental protection, according to earlier planning.