One of China's most critical environmental problems is water pollution. Nearly 1/4 of Chinese lack access to clean drinking water, over 70 percent of lakes and rivers are polluted, and pollution accidents happen on a near daily basis.
Water pollution not only strains freshwater ecological health, but also severely impacts human health. Today, China has a growing cancer rate, with hundreds of "cancer villages" along the banks of polluted water sources. The World Health Organization recently estimated that nearly 100,000 people die annually from water pollution-related illnesses in China, and 75 percent of disease is linked to poor water quality.China's water pollution crisis made international headlines following a 2005 petro-chemical plant explosion which released 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River. Such spills are not rare in China, yet the accident and ensuing cover-up opened new space for pressuring the Chinese government to change its approach to water pollution problems. Local, regional and national environmental groups now have more opportunity to establish themselves as watchdogs of government regulators and private industry.
Working with partners across China, Pacific Environment is reaching out to local communities concerned about water pollution and helping these communities conduct legal, public relations and advocacy campaigns to reduce the impacts of water pollution on public health and the local environment. Through these actions, our partners are playing a pivotal role to ensure clean water for China's future.
Recent Water Pollution Campaign Highlights:
November 17th, 2011