Chinese water pollution

By: James Peters

Water For Life

Water is the most abundant and important thing to human survival. Although water covers around two thirds of the earth’s surface only 2 percent of that water is usable fresh water. Salt water can’t be ingested because of the high salt content. Over sixty percent of all the earth’s freshwater is frozen, locked away in ice caps in remote locations. Most of the fresh water used is for irrigating crops to feed people only around ten percent of all freshwater is actually used for household things like showers, washing dishes ect. Many millions of gallons of fresh water are wasted in America alone just by leaking faucets and inefficient water control systems. Many of earth’s freshwater supplies are depleting because of overuse or pollution. Fossil fuels also have an impact over water supply, the burning of these fuels creates carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. Green house gasses cause the heat to be trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, excess heat makes causes climate change and potentially massive storms. Not only is it hard to find a sustainable water source but some countries fight over water rights. Stuart A. Kallen said “The availability and control of water supplies are issues poised to define life in the twenty first century.” Water is the main driving force of life and it is very important that water is kept clean and preserved for the future of all creatures.

China's Pollution Problem

China Is covered in factories and buildings. Many factories in China dump untreated waste materials into the rivers and streams. China also has frequent chemical spills which can contaminate nearby water or groundwater. Then villagers and civilians use this water for drinking. Dirty water with chemicals and trash can be very harmful if ingested. But Most of the small villages do not have the option of purifying water so they drink the contaminated water from rivers.

Toxic Chemicals

Many of China's water supplies are contaminated with toxic chemicals. One of the reasons for this is China does not limit or restrict the use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing. Because of the lack of restrictions on toxic chemicals, many Chinese manufacturing companies use these chemicals in manufacturing because they are cheaper than other chemicals. These toxic chemicals can be fatal in large doses and cause cancer in small doses. Around the industrial district of China some fishing villages are know as "cancer villages" because the villagers are forced to drink the dirty water. In some cases people have actually died from cancer from drinking chemical infested river water.

Polluted Ground Water

Waste dumping is causing more than just rivers to be polluted. Chemicals like arsenic and benzene are leaking into aquifers causing cancer and sickness and in some cases, death. In fact, China admits to having over 51% of their ground water polluted. Most people in cities do not even trust the water quality of their aquifers so they buy bottled water or a filtering system. One of the reasons the ground water is polluted is because water from rivers and chemicals leak into the aquifers from the surface. Ground water is a harder source to clean up because it is hard to gain access to it directly.

Possible Solutions to China's Problem

Although it will be hard, actions need to be taken to ensure a healthy future for China. Some possible solutions could be to limit the use of toxic chemicals in China. Another solution would be to start clean up of water systems and rivers in China. The people of China need to change their ways to save themselves. Cleanups would be expensive but aid in saving the lives of thousands. A short term solution would be to provide villages with water filters
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A woman stands disgusted at a very polluted river bank


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A woman from a village gathers water from the Yangtze river