The Stream, September 24: China Ahead of Water Pollution Goals, Government Says

Emissions of pollutants in China’s waterways, including nitrogen and organic pollutants, have already declined by slightly more than the 2 percent goal set by the government in 2014, Reuters reported, citing government officials. China is also considering an additional $US 326 billion plan to clean up wastewater and restore its lakes and rivers.

Drought and Water Scarcity
A severe drought in northern China has contributed to record low groundwater levels in the northeast and central regions of the country, where levels have been declining due to extraction for agriculture and industry, the Associated Press reported. Farmers in China have lost $US 1.2 billion this year due to the drought.

The western United States will need more than twice the amount of normal snowfall this winter, followed by several more years of above-average snow, to end a crippling 3-year drought, according to drought experts, Bloomberg News reported. The severe drought currently affects 16 percent of the U.S. population, as well as major agricultural regions in California.

India is beginning to implement a plan from the 1980s that will connect 30 of the country’s rivers in order to combat water scarcity and pollution, Bloomberg News reported. Critics of the plan, however, say that India’s bigger problem is groundwater, which will not be helped by the water transfers and could even be harmed.

Water scarcity in Iran, which has already created tensions with neighboring countries like Afghanistan and prompted civic protests, could become a more serious threat to security in the future, Middle East Eye reported. Water users in the capital of Tehran have faced water cuts as reservoirs dry up, and the government recently approved $US 11 million to secure emergency supplies.

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