Vice-Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing said the central government should intensify its supervision of water-related industries while opening the market to more foreign and private investment in an effort to address the nation's deteriorating water pollution, the Financial Times reported. Zhang Yue, another ministry official, estimated that foreign investment in China's urban water sector was less than 10% of the total. Although the urban sewage treatment rate rose to 52% last year from 34% in 2000, almost half of the mainland's two billion cubic meters of wastewater remains untreated and is being discharged into rivers and lakes. Qiu said 278 mainland cities had no wastewater treatment facilities by the end of last year, while more than 50 plants in about 30 cities operated below 30% of capacity or were idle. Beijing plans to spend US$41.41 billion in the next five years to build and renovate water treatment facilities. Wastewater tariffs of up to US$0.10 per metric ton will also be extended to all cities and towns by the end of this year, the South China Morning Post reported. By the end of last year, more than 150 cities had not imposed treatment fees on households or enterprises.
You must log in to post a comment.