A nationwide water pollution control project has been approved by China's environmental watchdog, according to a meeting held in Beijing on Thursday.
The project will develop monitoring and early-warning systems and water quality management technology to control water pollution, and endeavor to ensure drinking water security, according to the meeting.
Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said local governments should take responsibility for controlling water pollution and cooperate with colleges, institutes, and enterprises to solve the problem together.
With water pollution problems rising dramatically and dangers emerging to drinking water security, China began to prepare the project last June.
The lack of water resources impedes China's sustainable development and threatens people's subsistence. Statistics show that per capita water resources in China are only one third the world's average.
Ninety percent of waterways that flow through China's cities and 75 percent of the country's lakes are polluted.
More than 300 million of China's rural population are denied access to clean potable water.
Experts predict that rapid economic and social development will further worsen the water supply situation in the next five years, making the control of water pollution a critical challenge for China.
(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2007)