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Safe Drinking Water for Farmers Promised
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China will complete a pilot project in the next five years aimed at protecting drinking water sources in rural areas, authorities said.

By 2010, 600 water source environmental protection projects will be completed to fight water pollution in rural China, according to an environment protection plan for the countryside released by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) Thursday.

Pilot projects will be run in areas where the drinking water source is seriously polluted and poses a health risk to peasants living on the water, the plan says.

China has more than 3,100 drinking water sources and 5,716 areas are demarcated as protection zones.

More than 300 million Chinese peasants living in the countryside drink unsanitary water. Only 66 percent of rural China's drinking water is up to sanitation standards.

In the first six months of this year, 11 major accidents polluted drinking water sources. They included a chemical leak from an overturned truck on a highway in southwest China's Chongqing, a serious hydrochloric acid leak from a truck in Zhejiang province and the pollution of a drinking water well in Yangquan in north China's Shanxi province.

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2006)

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