The full report of an 18 month study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at China’s request is out, and the picture ain’t pretty. As many as 300 million people are drinking contaminated water every day, and 190 million are suffering from water-related illnesses each year. One third of the length of all China’s rivers are now “highly polluted” as are 75% of its major lakes and 25% of its coastal waters. Every year, nearly 30,000 children die from diarrhoea due to polluted water. If things don’t improve by 2020, pollution will cause 600,000 premature deaths in urban areas and 20 million cases of respiratory illness a year. The overall cost of health damage will be equal to 13 percent of gross domestic product.
Photo by April
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