23 Nov, 2016

China’s fight against air pollution is showing progress but now the focus is on its growing issue of widespread water pollution

An article published in the Business Standard (www.business-standard.com) on the 20th November 2016 reported that China has made progress on reducing air pollution however “despite commitments to crack down on polluters, the quality of water in rivers, lakes and reservoirs has deteriorated significantly according to inspection teams of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).”

Ma Jun, the director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, which monitors Chinese water pollution, stated that:

“for water, you can stop pollution at the source, but you still have the polluted sediment and the soil that is going to leech into the water, and it’s going to take much longer.”

This understanding of nutrient storage in water bodies is why the CSIRO invented Phoslock.

Phoslock is designed to sink to the bottom of a water body and capture the releasable phosphate from the sediment before it enters the water column. Binding the phosphate at the “source” ensures that it is not available for fuelling algal blooms in the water column.

Water pollution in China is an enormous issue. The article in the Business Standard goes on to say that “in documents published this week, inspectors found that a fifth of the water in the Yangtze’s feeder rivers in one province was unusable, and thousands of tonnes of raw sewage were being deposited into one river in north-eastern Ningxia each day”.

Not only is this issue a public health problem but the article states that “China has long been worried about a water supply bottleneck that could jeopardise future economic development. Per capita supplies are less than a third of the global average”.

Clean surface water is increasingly important in China as “a survey published by the MEP last year showed that nearly two thirds of underground water and a third of surface water was unsuitable for human contact, with much of it contaminated by fertiliser run-offs, heavy metals and untreated sewage”. It is so important that this year China “would spend 430 billion Yuan ($62.4 billion) on around 4,800 separate projects aimed at improving the quality of its water supplies”.

The full article can be found at the following link: http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/as-fight-against-smog-shows-progress-china-now-battles-water-pollution-116112000020_1.html