According to Zhang Wentai, Deputy Director of the Committee on the Environment and Resources of the National People’s Congress, over 300 million of China’s rural population and 50 million urban residents have no clean drinking water. Four factors have contributed to the problem: China’s wetlands are shrinking; its water sources are drying up; forests are being destroyed; and the “three highs” (high pollution, the high consumption of power, and the high consumption of water) are affecting water resources. In 2002 and 2003, official surveys of the water supply networks in several hundred cities found the quality of the water pipes to be inferior. For example, 50.80% of iron pipes, 13% of cement pipes, and 6% of galvanized pipes were below the national safety standard.
Source: China Youth Daily, May 31, 2012