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Spreading water pollution causes heavy economic losses: report

(Chinanews.com)    16:32, March 04, 2015
Pollution has turned a soda lake red in a pasturing area of Ordos, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. [Photo/ Weibo account of The Beijing News]

China must take rapid action to curb spreading water pollution, according to a proposal by the China Environment Chamber of Commerce, which operates under the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Economic costs from industry, agriculture, public works construction, and human health resulting from water pollution total approximately 240 billion yuan ($38.4 billion) annually, the China Business News said, citing Xu Danyu, a researcher and senior engineer with the Tianjin Academy of Environmental Sciences.

Luo Jianhua, the chamber's secretary-general, says many rivers and lakes are turning black and smelling bad because wastewater is being discharged directly into them without any treatment, a practice common in Chinese cities and towns, according to the paper.

At the end of 2013, China's urban sewage treatment rate was 89.21 percent, according to the newspaper. The report cited data from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, which says the urban sewage treatment rate in 2012 reached 87 percent, while the rate for surrounding counties was close to 80 percent. But when it came to towns and villages, the rate was shockingly low, just 30 percent and 8 percent respectively. Luo says the actual proportion of untreated wastewater could be even higher.

Smog and soil pollution are also hot topics for discussion by the deputies to the National People's Congress and the members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, as they meet at the annual "Two Sessions" in Beijing this month.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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