China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said that its five-year plan for reducing water pollution was falling short of its targets due to charges for treated water being less than the cost of treating the water. SEPA officials said that about 700 projects, half of the total planned for the 2001-2005 period, had yet to launch construction by the end of 2003, with lack of funding cited as a primary reason in the lag. The officials also said that many water pollution projects for the five-year period were falling short of their pollution reduction targets, with some project areas even becoming more polluted.
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