China will invest about 40 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion) each year in the next 10 years to make sure at least 70 percent of wastewater in major cities and 60 percent in ordinary cities is treated before discharge by 2010.
The money will be used to purchase and build more urban wastewater treatment facilities, according to a new pollution control policy jointly issued by the State Environmental Protection Administration, the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The policy requires that at least 50 percent of the wastewater in urban areas across the country should be treated before discharge by 2010.
China built 176 wastewater treatment plants between 1980 and 1995, enabling the country to treat 20 percent of the wastewater produced in cities.
Construction of urban wastewater treatment facilities has been stepped up since 1995 and up to the end of 1998, 266 wastewater treatment plants were operating, with a total daily capacity of 11 million tons. Currently, another 203 facilities are under construction.
According to the new policy, investors from both at home and abroad are welcome to build such facilities in cities and villages of the country.