The Stream, February 19: China to Spend $US 330 Billion on Water Pollution

Water Pollution
China plans to spend $US 330 billion addressing polluted water supplies, more than it is planning to spend on air pollution, Reuters reported. The money will go to efforts to prevent pollution, such as wastewater treatment upgrades, and aims to improve water quality 30 to 50 percent.

Coal ash released in a spill two weeks ago has now extended 70 miles down North Carolina’s Dan River, prompting concern about the spill’s long-term effects on aquatic health, the Guardian reported. The ash pile on the bottom of the river ranges from 1-inch deep to 5-feet deep, and though drinking water supplies are considered safe, residents have been advised to avoid direct contact with the river water.

A severe drought in California is concentrating contaminants in groundwater, posing a growing health risk to communities that rely on wells, according to state health officials, Reuters reported. The contamination comes from a variety of sources, including agricultural nitrates, industrial chemicals, and naturally-occurring arsenic.

Officials in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania worry that continuous heavy rains in the city will cause an outbreak of waterborne diseases in some neighborhoods, Inter Press Service reported. A rise in disease risk could accompany larger climatic changes, but Dar es Salaam also needs to address public health policy and enforcement deficiencies, according to water advocates.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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