During the 11th Five-year Plan period (2006-10) China will solve the problem of 1 million rural residents drinking water with a high content of fluorine, arsenic, salt, pollutants or suffering from water shortage. By 2015, 267 million, or 70 per cent of the total number, will have access to safe drinking water. This is learned from the High-Level Roundtable Meeting on Safe Drinking Water held Monday, sponsored by the Global Water Partnership (GWP).
Safe drinking water is a common concern of today's world. The United Nations Millennium Declaration has set the goal of reducing by half, before the end of 2015, the proportion of people who are inaccessible to safe drinking water or cannot afford it. State leaders and government heads have promised to reach the goal by that year at the latest. As an important measure to that end, the United Nations has decided that the 2005-2015 decade should be devoted to "Water for Life" international actions.
During the past half century, said water resources minister Wang Shucheng at the meeting, China has lifted a total number of 216 million people out of drinking water difficulties. From 2001 to 2005, 67 million people were provided with safe drinking water, cutting the proportion nationwide from 379 million in 2000 to 312 million by the end of 2005. China will realize the millennium goal in 2010, ahead of the UN schedule of 2015.
In recent years, the Chinese government has significantly increased investment in safe drinking water projects. A total amount of 22.3 billion yuan had been allocated in the past five years. This year's number is four billion yuan, doubling that of last year.
By People's Daily Online