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China’s Long March To Safe Drinking Water (2015)

Hongqiao Liu

In wake of the expected ‘Water Pollution Prevention & Control Action Plan’ China Water Risk and chinadialogue investigated the true status of China’s urban and rural drinking water in the report “China’s Long March To Safe Drinking Water”.

Ambitious goals and a RMB700 billion budget were set to increase water supply and to safeguard water quality from source-to-tap in the 12 Five Year Plan. Also, the government is expecting cities across China to meet the national drinking water standard by 2015.

2015 is here. The report looks at how close China is to meeting these goals. Overall, access and delivery of water has increased but quality still uncertain with 68 kinds of antibiotics detected. The issues hindering China from “completely solving” drinking water are: ambiguous ownership, unclear water pricing mechanisms, immature market mechanisms, a lack of rural business models and governance issues.