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China Medicine News Science Technology

Over 80 Percent of China's Well Water Is Polluted (voanews.com) 88

An anonymous reader writes: 32.9 percent of the 2,103 underground wells tested in China received grade 4 for water quality -- meaning they're only fit for industrial use and are not safe for drinking water. Another 47.3 percent received a grade 5 for water quality. "These latest statistics are an indicator of how bad the underground water quality is. The sources of pollution are widespread and include a lot of agricultures. I think that would be the main source of pollution," Dabo Guan, professor at the University of East Anglia in Britain, told the New York Times. "From my point of view, this shows how water is the biggest environmental issue in China. People in the cities, they see air pollution every day, so it creates huge pressure from the public. But in the cities, people don't see how bad the water pollution is," said Guan. According to statistics from the country's Ministry of Water Resources, 70 percent of lakes used as a water source, 60 percent of underground water, and 11 percent of water in reservoirs did not meet the country's safety standards. Even though the study measured water sources close to the surface, the results are shocking and depict the adverse effects air pollution has in China currently and in years to come.
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Over 80 Percent of China's Well Water Is Polluted

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  • I wonder how the USA would rate if as many people were still using well water? Not the city water is much better. How much of that is polluted again?
    http://www.the-american-intere... [the-americ...terest.com]
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2... [huffingtonpost.ca]
    • The US would rank #1. Many people in the US still use well water. You guys need to get out more.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by SNRatio ( 4430571 )
        Except for the 13 million people in the US drinking well water with elevated levels of Arsenic. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/... [nytimes.com] For that though, I think Bangladesh is #1.
        • To be fair, in most if not all of those wells the Arsenic is 100% natural. Here in the SouthWest every now and then we get a story about land reclamation, and how the company putting the land back to it's natural state has to buy thousands of pounds of arsenic to till in with the reclamation soil to get the chemistry right for native plants. Its 100% natural, and why we have names like "Arsenic Springs".
      • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @12:25AM (#51889395)
        They weren't measuring "well water" as you mean it. They were using shallow wells that were underground surface water, and wells that drained from lakes. Aquifer ground water isn't what was measured.

        ""In Chinese cities, drinking water often comes from deep underground sources, which are not easily polluted,"

        The deep well water is fine. The shallow wells that pull mainly pooled surface water. None of TFAs showed a well. All the "pollution" was shown in surface water only. This looks like more FUD. And from what I can tell from reading TFA, pulling from a lake is considered an "underground well" by the measurement standards used. How's the tap water in Flint doing?
        • by plopez ( 54068 )

          a well is a well.

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            So a 5 foot deep "well" 20 feet from the ocean that pulls in seawater that seeps through the sand is "well water" in your definition, because it's from a well? You have an odd and quite useless definition of well if anything someone calls a "well" is a well.
    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      City water? Funny you mention that here they sent out notices that the city water did not meet EPA requirements 3 months after the incident.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That is Why We have an EPA. We use to have Polluted Air and water back in the 70's.
      Assuming the GOP does not get their way getting rid the Environmental Laws it will Continue to stay Relatively clean.

      • You do realize that the EPA was brought into existence by the uberRepublican, Richard Nixon, right?
        • by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Monday April 11, 2016 @11:00PM (#51889071)

          You do realize that the EPA was brought into existence by the uberRepublican, Richard Nixon, right?

          Yes - absolutely. George H.W. Bush's administration got the 1990 extensions to the clean air act passed that were very successful. Environmental protections used to be bipartisan.

          Then one party (I'll let you guess which) abandoned any pretense of care for the environment and have actively pushed back against any environmental protections (and not just regarding climate change). That isn't to say under the democrats it has been perfect either. The Flint water crisis was primarily due to Michigan but the Feds (EPA) were asleep at the wheel too.

          • So your statement is, "Both major parties are at fault, but we'll blame just one because it fits my narrative."
          • So really what you're saying is both parties are really the same party and they are evil. Yes.
        • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @12:00AM (#51889313)

          Please, Nixon was most certainly not an "uberRepublican" by today's standards (shoot, by today's some of his policies would be of the Left) and even by the standards of the day he was only a bit right of middle. The Southern Realignment was still under way when he was in office so defining him under modern party terms doesnt make sense.

          • Nixon would not be considered even close to moderate or liberal. Get your facts right [washingtonpost.com]
            • by gtall ( 79522 )

              In economics, he wasn't conservative. He instituted wage and price controls to stop inflation after the fed. budget dumped a lot of extra money through deficit spending into the money supply. That was because of the Vietnam war and the great society programs. It was peanuts by today's standards but back then in a much smaller economy, it was significant. And then he took them off again after it became clear they only made the problems worse.

              Helping to open up China wasn't a conservative idea either. He was

              • That deal with CHina is just up the road with conservatives. Basically, he wanted to push the soviets to the sideline and make china become a more normal nation. Nothing liberal in that.

                Mostly agree about Nixon's economics. Oddly, it is the conservatives that speak out against controls, while regularly putting them on. For example, after the conservatives caused the great depression, they were the ones that also pushed for many of the remedies that gave us 50 years of decent economy and kept us out of tro
                • by skam240 ( 789197 )

                  You seem to be running with a fixed definition for party ideology based on today's standards. The republican party under Lincoln is not at all the same as today's. Shoot, the modern Republican party doesn't even represent the same geographic regions as Lincoln's. It represents almost the exact opposite in fact.

                  Also, that Washington post article you posted along with your claim that Nixon wasnt a moderate has nothing to do with Nixon. It's an article about Obama. Just because it has Nixon's name in it a sing

                  • Also, that Washington post article you posted along with your claim that Nixon wasnt a moderate has nothing to do with Nixon. It's an article about Obama. Just because it has Nixon's name in it a single time doesnt mean it's about him.

                    Perhaps before talking about what an article does and does not talk about, you should try reading it? Half way down the page we have a pretty liberal vs conservative graphic which shows that indeed, Nixon was conservative!

                    https://img.washingtonpost.com... [washingtonpost.com]

                    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

                      Oh yes, wonderfull graph, that. If it's in a graph it has to be right. Those highly meaningfull numbers on the left that arent broken down at all mean that Nixon was over .9 more conservative than LBJ!

                      There's no explenation as to why these numbers are what they are and the article you implied you read even says that the scores are kind of arbitrary. Furthermore, labeling Clinton that far to the Left? What the heck did he ever do during his presidency that puts him that far to the Left? I'm not saying Nixon

    • Aren't all US municipal water supplies required to send out the results of their annual audits? The city I live in sends out a multi-page report every year that they've indicated is required, and it's filled with the results from the independent tests that were done. Which, for as long as I've lived here, has boiled down to "all is well". By all indications, if they ever fail to meet the required standards, they're required to indicate what steps they're taking to correct the issues immediately.

      Sure, there

      • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday April 11, 2016 @09:50PM (#51888741) Journal

        Don't forget: all those "small government" types would like to starve the agencies that do this analysis of the funds they need to operate. But somehow, the "free market" will fix any contamination issues.

        Waiting for those "troll" mods!

        • Oh, this is rich!! Hah. In China, most if not all polluting industries are GOVERNMENT OWNED and operated by the CCP. In a nation that's lacking both federalism and representation (AKA democracy), this would be the classic case in which less government would be beneficial. BTW, the Soviet Union also had a horrible track record for environmental ratings.

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            In most countries, the government owns everything (or a bit of everything). The USA is one of the few countries with a pension program that's required by law to only buy government bonds for "investment". Had SS bought stock, and not bonds, it would have made enough to have never run out of money. And you'd not be able to brag about your ineffective government (the goal of every Republican isn't a small government, but an ineffective one). And the US government would "own" everything (or at least 0.05%
    • by kqc7011 ( 525426 )
      Well water, surface water, brackish water, salt water, waste water and water under the influence of surface water is all water that can be treated to become potable water. How much are you willing to spend? If you really want to spend money, go to the level of purity needed for some industrial applications like chip manufacturing. The numerical grades given do not mean anything as we do not know what the standard is that the grades are being compared to.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Countries that treat their environment like a sewer should not be surprised to find themselves eating (or drinking) shit.

    No sympathy whatsoever for such. It was all fine when it earned money and you could pretend it did not exist because it was not effecting you personally.

    Too late to cry about it now...you reap what you sow.

    • Countries that treat their environment like a sewer should not be surprised to find their poor people eating (or drinking) shit.

      FIFY

  • by twmcneil ( 942300 ) on Monday April 11, 2016 @09:37PM (#51888687)
    There is widespread pollution in China.

    Film at 11:00.
    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Monday April 11, 2016 @10:49PM (#51889011)

      There is widespread pollution in China. Film at 11:00.

      I love to point to China when I hear about how the USA should gut it's reglatory systems. That's what we would be getting a repeat of where we were once.

      It's not even wrong to think that when a system is designed to make money, that money won't be made in any manner possible.

      Cleaning up after yourself costs money, and since it doesn't matter in six months, who the hell cares if you poison the water? There are plenty more countries with clean water to poison.

      I'm still offering tours of what the coal mining companies did in the counties above mine. Land not fit to do anything but die on now. And that orange color in the water does not make it soda.

      • I'm still offering tours of what the coal mining companies did in the counties above mine.

        Do you drive there? Do you advertise these tours on the internet using power? And do you pay extra for your power to subsidise green initiatives?

        Companies don't pollute, they provide a product that the market demands. YOU and I are the ones who are doing the polluting. We do this indirectly by preferring the cheapest garbage we can find which ultimately comes from a place where the cost of manufacturing is low due to .... lack of regulations.

        • Regulating pollution by industry has been wildly successful in the US. There are still plenty of pollution events that one can point at, but the overall levels of air and water pollution have fallen at the same time that population has grown and standard of living has risen. The EPA deserves a great deal of credit for this fact. Canada's protections seem comparatively weak by comparison, but our population is so small enough and our land area so large that we get away with it.

          I really have a hard time imagi

        • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @09:47AM (#51891323)

          I'm still offering tours of what the coal mining companies did in the counties above mine.

          Do you drive there?

          Usually

          Do you advertise these tours on the internet using power?

          Just on slashdot for people who bloviate about how regulations are evil. Whatever you are trying to prove, you are failing miserably.

          Companies don't pollute, they provide a product that the market demands. YOU and I are the ones who are doing the polluting.

          This is bizzare. So the profit motive doesn't come into play at all? These companies who in the late 1800's until the mid 1900's were run bereft of regulations, and after stripping off a section of coal, they either simply left it, or even better, declared bankruptcy. Then a close relative would start up a new business doing the same thing. After 7 years, rinse and repeat.

          Back in the day, their largest customers were other companies, and consumerism hardly existed at all. They didn't have to clean up after themselves, and they didn't.

  • In a recent Chinese language paper on high pH well water, it was noted that they can generate biofuel from contaminated well water with alkaline concentrations as high as 11.0 pH, and achieve 80 percent conversion efficiency. It's in publication in July 2016.

    Paper in Bioresource Technology.

    Maybe the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing? It's a large country, and a lot of the water resources are contaminated.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday April 11, 2016 @11:09PM (#51889103)
    You just can't allow individuals and businesses to participate in the free market with no concern for keeping shared natural resources like air and water clean. Even the staunchest free-market thinker Milton Friedman was a proponent of a cap and trade system as a way to financially account for the pollution produced by business.
  • They are in a war with the west and are not only continuing to emit loads of pollution, but are still building out new coal plants. As such, those coal plants, along with their industrial companies, will dump into the air and water.
    • Oh this is an eastern thing is it? /* looks out my window at the coal fired power station which started operating here in western Europe only 2 months ago */

      • Do you have 50 new 1GW coal plants going up in Europe EACH YEAR? Hell, does the entire west COMBINED have 50 new 1GW coal plants going up each year?
        NOPE. For that matter, Does your coal plant have active pollution control, BUT TURNED OFF, on it? IOW, do you have a brown cloud that surrounds your house at all times and prevents you from seeing even .1-.5 km in front of you?
        Now the Chinese gov is under fire for their HORRIBLE pollution. It is the worst that the world has EVER seen. Yet, they drive gas/diese
        • Do you have 50 new 1GW coal plants going up in Europe EACH YEAR?

          Nope but then we don't plan to provision some 80GW of nucelar power which is nice and CO2 free either.

          Yet, they drive gas/diesel cars that have full pollution control on them .

          Oh the irony of this statement while complaining about the Chinese turning off pollution control is Volkswagonlicious.

          And now that you're done with your anti-China rant go back and re-read my post and realise that I wasn't excusing China, but vilifying the policies of Good old Europe as well. Because quite frankly in terms of expanding power capacity the Netherlands has last year commissioned a far higher p

  • Well then, Chinese well water is, well, pretty un-well.
  • But in the cities, people don't see how bad the water pollution is," said Guan.

    Given how every drinks bottled water, and bottled water is supplied absolutely everywhere, and there are warnings to look out for counterfeit bottle water which may have been filled from the tap then recapped I'm sure even in the cities people are well and truly aware how bad the water pollution is.

    You can't drink it. It's bad.

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