A review of the protection of sources of drinking water in China



Water is a natural resource key to human and environmental health. China has suffered serious contamination of its water sources in the past decade, which has had severe consequences on the water supplies of millions of residents. Frequent polluting accidents and the amount of wastewater discharged have caused concern for the safety of drinking water. Fortunately, those at various levels of government have realized the importance of protecting the sources of drinking water and confirmed a list of 175 nationally important sources. Measures have also been adopted to control water pollution, including infrastructural, physical, chemical, ecological, administrative, and legal measures. While helpful, some areas in need of more attention are rural water, groundwater, agricultural pollution, and domestic sewage. Based on the lessons learned from experiences in developed countries, we offer some suggestions for improving, inter alia, funding, legal construction, management, and awareness-raising, as well as present proposals for the future protection of our sources of drinking water. Future work should focus on water quality standards, quantitative research, high technology and legislation.