We have followed the horrific environmental problems in China after decades of the communist putting industrial production above every health and environmental priority. That is beginning to change as cancer rates continue to soar and the country becomes increasingly unliveable in parts, including Beijing. When stories come out, the pollution and health dangers are often on a scale that is literally breathtaking. This week had another report from the environmental ministry itself — long viewed as hiding data and underplaying environmental damage. The report says that roughly two-thirds of China’s underground water, and a third of its surface water, were rated as unsuitable for direct human contact in 2014.
Only 3.4 percent of surface water meets the highest of six categories as “Grade I” resources. Some 63% are classified as meeting Grade III and fit for human contact and use. This is notably a further diminishment since 2013 when 71.7 percent of surface water in “Grade III” or above.
It is always uncertain how much we can rely on the data from the Chinese government, one of the worst environmental violators in the world. However, even the government is now admitting a massive loss of water resources to pollution.
The loss of underground water resources is truly incredible and shows the loss from pollutants percolating through the soil and destroying aquifers that are essential for drinking water. The report shows 61.5 percent of the 4,896 underground water sites as either “relatively poor” or “very poor”.
Those suffering through this growing pollution problem is obviously the least wealthy in the country who continue to draw from water resources deemed unfit for human consumption.