Dirty WaterNovember 22, 2011
The Standells had a garage rock classic with their ode to the city of Boston and its famously polluted harbor fed by the equally polluted Charles River.
Perhaps some Beijing cover band can update with a reference to their own home town. According to a recent report in the South China Morning Post, China is suffering from massive, widespread contamination of their groundwater.
Only a small part of the findings of the nationwide survey appears to have been made public by the Ministry of Land and Resources. But it paints a grim picture that analysts say yet again highlights the severity of the country’s water pollution problems – and the government’s failure to tackle environmental challenges.
It contains startling revelations that support Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent warnings about worsening water quality – especially pollution of underground water sources, from where nearly 70 per cent of the population get their drinking water.
Wen told a State Council meeting two months ago that groundwater contamination posed grave challenges to public health and threatened to derail the country’s social and economic development.
. . . Officials are increasingly vocal about mounting environmental problems and their dire consequences, but all this talk has yet to be translated into any concrete steps to change the situation.
More than 57 per cent of groundwater is substandard and 17 per cent of extremely poor quality, according to the survey of 182 cities last year. In addition, a marked deterioration in quality was widely seen in the northern regions.
While manufacturing jobs are beginning to return to the US (especially the American South), we appear to have successfully exported our pollution to China.