I knew something was really happening in China when cement and steel prices escalated here a few years ago because China was seemingly sucking the world’s raw resources. China is switching economic planes in mid-air from an agricultural based economy to manufacturing economy. Unprecedented growth has brought enormous challenges in water resources.
I thought this morning I would try to collect some of these China water facts that are splattered in miscellaneous reports into one blog post.
- 400 out of 600 cities in China are facing water shortages to varying degrees, including 30 out of the 32 largest cities.
- The combined health and non-health cost of outdoor air and water pollution on China’s economy comes to around $100 billion a year(or about 5.8 percent of China’s GDP).
- Overall cost of water scarcity was estimated to be about one percent of their GDP.
- 40 percent of China’s rivers are grade V (not suitable for drinking, industry, or agriculture) or worse
- Lack of municipal wastewater treatment is a big driver of water pollution throughout China with nationwide rates of treatment only average around 30 percent.
- 6 of China’s 27 largest cities meet their own drinking water standards.
- Only 17% of rural households had access to tap water.
- The per capita water volume in China is one fourth of the world average.
- 90% of cities’ groundwater and 75% of rivers and lakes are polluted.
- Chinese water prices do not reflect scarcity: they are 70- 80% below prices in countries with adequate water per capita