Fast & Furious Water Ten
by China Water Risk 14 May, 2015
So the highly anticipated ‘Water Pollution Prevention & Control Action Plan’ or ‘Water Ten’ is finally out. It is more comprehensive and tougher than expected with tight compliance deadlines for some regions and industries. The plan’s actions are fast & furious and indicate a tough ‘comply or else’ stance by the State Council. Multiple related policies & new industrial standards released hot on the heels of the plan (see “Tapping In” column) also point to a fast & furious shift to a “New Norm”. Why? Because groundwater is under pressure in the North and the public are worried about pollution in their drinking water sources. But is the new plan enough? Are the targets too soft or do they reflect the complexity of tackling water pollution? With the latest official report showing continued deterioration of groundwater quality, focus is expected to turn to water pollution from agriculture and coal mining. We take a look at key takeaways from Shanghai’s Global Agriculture Sustainability Forum in relation to the new plan – will it revamp Chinese agriculture? We also examine water in coal and find that despite multiple policies on the matter, the road ahead is still murky with inconsistencies in data and targets. Ultimately, if China can protect water sources and deliver safe drinking tap water, will the bottled water market continue to thrive? It was bottled water galore at the World Water Forum in Korea last month. Check out our takeaways from this tri-annual forum and why country representatives attending should take a page from the Water Ten – it’s fast, it’s furious – be prepared.
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