China's Water Supply and Treatment to Become a Possible International Concern

July 22, 2004
Research and Markets Announced the Addition of Water Supply and Treatment in China: Industry Analysis to Their Offering

By 2010 China's population may exceed 1.6 billion–the country's problematic water supply will be of international concern. Research and Markets' study deals with changes in Chinese water treatment and supply.

China's vice-premier, Wen Jiabao, told a conference in January 1999 that the survival of the Chinese nation is threatened by the country's shortage of water. Wen warned that in the 21st century the Chinese population was expected to reach 1.6 billion and its water problem would become a worldwide concern.

The Chinese government has become increasingly concerned about industrial wastewater, its treatment and potential re-use. As an example of the government's commitment, consider developments in Yunnan Province. In 1999 China reportedly planned to spend more than one billion dollars on sewage treatment to cope with more than 200 million tones of wastewater discharged by 2,000 mines and factories which entered the Dianchi Lake in Yunnan province each year.

National policy has moved towards a closer study of pollution and water. A recently added amendment to China's Water Pollution Law states that all cities with populations over 250,000 must build water-treatment plants. According to a State Council directive, plans for these facilities were to be included in local capital construction budgets for the Ninth Five-year Plan period (1996-2000). In total, the government forecast that $10 billion would be spent on water treatment projects during that period.

In February 1999 it was announced that China was to break the current government monopoly on business management to further open up new channels of financing for five major industries and increase their exposure to collective, private, and foreign investment. At the same time, a competition mechanism was to be introduced. Water conservancy was one of the first five industries to be opened (others were agriculture, industrial infrastructure construction, use of imported production technology and equipment for renovation of traditional industries.

However, only eight mainland cities meet both Beijing's air and water quality standards. The eight cities, which passed both the air and water quality tests, were Suzhou, Ningbo, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, Zhanjiang and Haikou.

The Chinese water industry includes the collection, treatment, storage and supply of drinking water, as well as wastewater treatment and sewage. It is estimated that the global water industry has total annual revenues of approximately $400 billion. A further $600 billion is estimated to be spent on global water and wastewater infrastructure between 2000 and 2010.

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Source: Business Wire