China to unveil measures to fight water pollution | Reuters

China is to launch an action plan to protect the quality of its scarce water resources after years of rapid economic growth that have left much of its water supply too polluted for human consumption or for growing food.

The plan, expected to be published this month, will require firms in heavily polluting industries such as paper mills and dye and chemical plants to treat discharged water and it will set higher penalties for those that violate rules on discharging pollutants, according to official media reports.

One third of China’s major river basins and 60 percent of its underground water are contaminated, according to official data, posing a major threat to public health and food security.

The long-awaited action plan is expected to be approved by the cabinet this month to give it legal powers to hold polluters and local authorities responsible.

“The plan will ring an alarm bell with local authorities who did little to protect water and will help to remove the regional segregation that constrained the growth of the water treatment business,” said He Yuanping, executive vice president of Originwater, a private clean water technology company.

He estimated the treatment business could be worth more than 2 trillion yuan ($323 billion) in terms of the total investment involved, including assets owned by local governments.

via China to unveil measures to fight water pollution | Reuters.

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