China to allocate $79bn to prevent water pollution

The Government of China

The Government of China is planning to allocate CNY500bn ($79bn) for the prevention and control of water pollution in major drainage areas until 2015.

The plans were revealed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resources.

The five-year guideline consists of 5,998 projects focusing on industrial pollution, urban sewage treatment, pollution in areas with drinking water sources, pollution from livestock-raising and nearshore water pollution.

MEP official Zhao Hualin said the nation's water environment will suffer from persistent pollution and other long-overdue issues as of 2015, with increasing pressure from economic and social development.

"The guideline indicates that the government's focus has shifted to more elaborate methods of water management, as well as coordinated prevention and control efforts," Zhao said.

NDRC official Huang Weibo said, "Local governments are ultimately responsible for the quality of water resources within their jurisdiction. Governments at various levels should adopt a market mechanism to encourage more investment in the fight against river pollution."

The central government of China intends to earmark about CNY30bn ($4.74m) per year from now until 2015 to treat water pollution.

Through the investment, the government aims to cut chemical oxygen demand, a measure of organic pollutants in water, by 9.7%, and ammonia nitrogen content by 11.3% by 2015, in comparison to 2010 levels.

Image: The Chinese government's investment will prevent and control water pollution in major drainage areas. Photo: sakhorn38.