Chinese minister hails water quality improvements

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China’s vice minister of environmental protection, Zhao Yingmin, has told a news conference that the country’s water quality had improved in the first three quarters of this year.

He said that 70.3% of 1922 monitored surface water areas could be used directly as drinking water, 4% up from last year. Over the same period, 8.6% of waters received the lowest rating for poor quality, down from 9.8% last year.

Minister Zhang also noted at the press briefing that in some places water quality had got significantly worse.

Minister Zhao attributed the success to strict implementation of the Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention and Control, which the State Council released in 2015 with the intention of reducing pollutants, improving drinking water and promoting water conservation.

The plan calls for over 70% of the water in the country’s seven major river valleys, including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, to be in good condition by 2020. A State Council executive meeting has also approved a new guideline for environmental protection for the period to 2020, which has concrete targets for reducing air, water and land pollution.


  • China, water resources, water quality