China's groundwater over 80 percent polluted

Beijing, April 12: Over 80 percent of groundwater in China is polluted and not fit for human consumption.

In its most recent monthly report, published on Monday, the water resources ministry said that of 2,103 monitored wells, water from 691, or 32.9 percent, was defined as Class IV water and that from 994 wells, or 47.3 percent, as Class V, which means that over 80 percent of the water is classified as not fit for human consumption, the Global Times reported on Tuesday.


Groundwater quality is categorised into five classes according to the Quality Standard for Groundwater of China.

Class IV is suitable for industrial and agricultural use, while Class V water is defined as "not suitable for drinking".

The report also showed the problem of nitrate contamination is severe, and in some areas water is contaminated by heavy metals and toxic organic pollutants.

The situation is much more serious in regions that depend more on groundwater for their water, like the north-eastern provinces and the Inner Mongolia region.

Class IV and V water accounts for more than 90 percent of the groundwater resources in those regions, according to the report.

In April 2015, China issued an action plan to improve the country's water quality over the next five years.

The action plan stipulates that by 2020, 70 percent of the water in China's seven major rivers should be of good quality, the volume of bad quality groundwater across the country should be limited to 15 percent, and 95 percent of drinking water in cities should be safe and be of better quality.


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