According to a new report published by MarketReportsOnline, China's wastewater treatment is lagging behind that of developed countries but its wastewater treatment capacity has increased over recent years, growing at an average annual rate of 14 percent between 2005 and 2012.

The country's average water reclamation utilization rate stands at about 8 to 9 percent, but this is expected to rise to 10 percent over the next five-year period. By contrast, developed countries have water reclamation utilization rates at about 70 percent, the report found.

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Figures reveal that in 2012 a total of 68 billion tons of wastewater were discharged in China, with municipal wastewater accounting for nearly two-thirds of this amount. Industrial wastewater represented 38 percent of the total, with the steel, chemical, paper, leather and pharmaceutical industries discharging the biggest amount of wastewater.

Over the next five years China is planning to invest in four main areas: wastewater treatment facilities, water reclamation, sludge treatment and disposal and piping networks. Under plans presented by the central government, during this period about 1,200 new municipal wastewater treatment plants and about 160,000 kilometers of piping will be constructed. Targets set in the five-year plan include an 85-percent municipal wastewater treatment rate, an increase of 42 million tons in the daily wastewater treatment capacity and a load rate of more than 80 percent for facilities by the end of 2015.