On Thursday, June 4, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (CMEP) published information quoting the "2014 China Environmental Bulletin," which said that it would not be good for humans to be in direct contact with nearly two-thirds of all groundwater and one-third of all surface water.
China will "declare a war on pollution," trying to reverse some of the environmental damage caused during the past 30 years of rapid economic growth. One of the biggest and most expensive challenges is processing polluted water. China classifies water quality into six grades. Of the 968 CMEP locations that monitored surface water last year, only 3.4 per cent found the water quality to be of the highest standard or "the first grade." CMEP said in its annual report that only 63.1 percent of the monitoring locations reached a water quality at or above the third grade, which is suitable for human intake. The rest were not totally unusable; they were only suitable for use as industrial water or irrigation water. As for the water quality, the 968 state-controlled surface water-monitoring stations (points) that are distributed across China’s 423 major rivers and 62 lakes (or reservoirs), carried out water quality monitoring last year. They found that water quality was between the fourth and fifth grade level and that those with a quality worse than Grade Five were as high as 27.7% and 9.2% respectively. Nearly 40 percent of water did not reach drinking water standards, and also was not suitable for aquaculture or swimming.
Source: BBC Chinese, June 4, 2015