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Almost 60% of China's water is contaminated, government report finds

April 28, 2014
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More than half of China's water reserves are moderately or heavily contaminated, the latest annual report released by the country's Ministry of Land and Resources has revealed. The findings confirm previously raised concerns over the condition of China's water and soil, despite large-scale cleanup programs that have cost billions of dollars, Xinhua reported.

The report revealed that 59.6 percent of the country's water was polluted last year. That's even more than in 2012, when the percentage was 57.4. Just over one tenth of water reserves fell into the high-quality category last year, although the methods used to determine quality were not specified.

These figures are similar to those from a 2010 report which found that the proportion of contaminated water was around 57 percent, suggesting that even though the government has made significant investments in cleanup efforts, the most it has been doing is keeping pollution at the same level. A proper improvement is still not noticeable in the results.

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The situation is similar with the condition of China's soil, according to a new national soil survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The results indicate that nearly one fifth of China's arable land was polluted, with about three percent of it classified as moderately or seriously polluted. The bulk of the pollution came from heavy metals, the report noted.

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