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China mulls $321 billion to treat water pollution

2014-06-11 15:51 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Qin Dexing

China's State Council, the cabinet, is weighing a 2 trillion yuan ($321 billion) action plan to prevent and control water pollution, the China Business News reported on Wednesday citing unnamed sources from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The plan aims to improve overall water quality, ensure water safety, and maintain the entire water eco-system, the sources said.

It will be another major step by the world's second-largest economy to curb environmental pollution after the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Law, which was rolled out in September last year.

China has stepped up efforts to improve water quality in recent years, as a significant part of the water system has been polluted and drinking water safety issues keep popping up.

"As much as 10 percent of China's surface water system has been severely contaminated, and in some places the pollution level is as high as 39.1 percent," the report quoted Li Ganjie, vice-minister of the environmental protection, as saying at a news conference last Wednesday.

With rapid urbanization and industrialization in the past decade, discharge of waste water in China has increased, reaching 68.5 billion tons in 2012 - an increase of 58.2 percent from that of 2001.

Main reason behind the sharp rise is the rapid growth of urban domestic sewage, although it is not as contaminated as industrial waste water, said the report, citing statistics from the environmental protection ministry that showed that annual increase of urban sewage took a lion's share of 92.2 percent of the total surge as of 2012.

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