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Millions of Farmers Away from Unhealthy Water in 2006
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A total of 28.97 million farmers in China got away from drinking unhealthy water in 2006 thanks to the government's heavy investment, Minister of Water Resources Wang Shucheng said Saturday.

The central government injected six billion yuan last year, four billion yuan more than that in 2005, to prevent farmers from drinking water containing excessive fluorin and arsenic and bitter salty water, and people in snail-fever-hit areas had access to safe drinking water, Wang told a national conference in Qinhuangdao of Hebei Province attended by officials in charge of water resources.

Figures from the ministry showed there were 323 million rural people who suffered from unclean or unhealthy drinking water at the end of 2004.

Contaminated underground water, bitter salty water and water polluted by excessive fluorin and arsenic are three major threats to the health of Chinese farmers.

To provide safe drinking water for farmers has been put as a priority by the ministry since 2004.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2007)

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