From: Reuters
Published October 2, 2006 12:00 AM

More Than One Quarter of Yangtze Water Undrinkable

BEIJING — More than one quarter of the water in the Yangtze River is so polluted it cannot be treated to make it drinkable, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

A new report by the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission showed that 27.5 percent of water tested along China's longest river was seriously polluted and could not be treated to make it potable, compared with less than 20 percent in 1998, Xinhua said.

The remaining 72.5 percent of water quality tests conducted along the Yangtze showed water that could be consumed if treated.

Hundreds of millions of people live along the Yangtze and its tributaries, including in the cities of Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing.

Some 30 billion tons of polluted water were dumped into the river last year, 50 percent more than in 1998, Xinhua said, citing the report.

"The major polluted stretches are located near cities along the river and its tributaries," said the report.

China has started to enforce laws on the dumping of contaminated waste water. But enforcement agencies often lack clout against locally powerful industries with ties to government officials.

Source: Reuters

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