An emergency response system for the country's drinking water
set up last year has helped improved water quality safeguards
significantly, senior officials said yesterday.
Some 3,500 emergency response measures dealing with
environmental incidents have been drawn up by several provinces, Li
Xinmin, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection
Administration's (SEPA) pollution control department, said.
file photo: Huairou
Reservoir, a drinking water source for the Beijing City in its
The measures follow the SEPA's handbook on a national response
scheme for environmental incidents released earlier this year, Li
said in an online interview yesterday posted on the central
government website or www.gov.cn.
Li said the SEPA has responded to 261 environmental incidents
since last year, of which 147 involved water pollution and 53 the
safety of drinking water sources.
In response, 79 work teams and expert groups have been sent out
by the SEPA to look at inter-regional practices on water pollution
The SEPA is one of a number of government agencies engaged in
ensuring safe drinking water.
The Ministry of Construction has also released emergency
response schemes on urban water supply systems and researched 123
types of pollutants in water sources.
Shen Xujian, an official with the National Development and
Reform Commission, which oversees the allocation of water
resources, said the quality of drinking water in urban areas has
"Much work has been done on the protection of water sources,
ensuring supply and monitoring quality," Shen said.
But he said severe water shortages persist in some regions and
pollution remains a problem.
Water supply facilities, which the Ministry of Construction
plans to renovate, are also relatively obsolete.
China has promised to provide safe drinking water for 160
million residents in 205 cities and 350 towns by 2010.
(China Daily November 21, 2007)