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Water pollution in China - Essay Example

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This paper will look into the water pollution issue at length while seeking to answer whether economic development should be at the peril of the environment and humanity. The author is of the view that economic development should not be pursued at all costs. …
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Water pollution in China

Download file to see previous pages... In recent years,the world has been shocked at China’s rate of economic development. It was almost as if it happened overnight because all of a sudden China was a super-power in terms of its financial power. This has mostly been due to its several industries in the country which beside providing income for the people and revenue for the government, this has also come at a hefty price- pollution. The factories and production plants emit harmful gases and wastes which in turn pollute the environment. China’s environmental pollution problems have become a major concern around the world mostly because of its dense population, estimated at around 1 billion. Water pollution in particular is a very serious problem in China. To put this into perspective, China had an estimated 50, 000 rivers unfortunatley more than half of those rivers have since disappeared. A report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection indicates that, “Up to 40 percent of China’s rivers were seriously polluted” and “20 percent were so polluted their water quality was rated too toxic even to come into contact with.” (Yongqiang, 2013). Water pollution not only threatens human health and development, but also jeopardizes China’s economic development plans (Economy, 2013). It is reported that water shortages cause an estimated loss of U.S. $11.2 billion (120 billion yen), while the its impact on human health has been approximated at U.S. $3.9 billion (41.73 billion yen per year).
There has been a debate as to whether pollution should be dealt with austerely mainly because it will involve taking draconian measures against companies found liable. This will have a negative economic impact in the country. So the real debate is whether China wants to forego its economic development and in turn focus on eradicating pollution. This paper will look into the water pollution issue at length while seeking to answer whether economic development should be at the peril of the environment and humanity. The author is of the view that economic development should not be pursued at all costs. There are limits as to how far one can/should go in order to make profits. Currently in China there is no line to be crossed and companies are taking advantage of this. Pollution This refers to the contamination of air, water, or soil by substances which are harmful to living organisms. These substances may differ and they contaminate at varying degrees depending on their concentration. Examples of substances that may contaminate include; chemicals, waste (human and industrial) etc. These substances may also be referred to as pollutants. Water is very essential to not only human life, but also animal and plant life. In order for all these lives to be sustained, water is required but not just any water but clean and fit for consumption water. The quality of water which is declining at a very fast pace is mostly affected by human activities (Taylor, 2013). Some of the factors attributed to this include; population growth, the rise of urbanization, industrial production, among other factors. Industries are the largest source of water pollution and it is reported that several sources of water have a certain contamination level from industrial waste and chemicals (Spector, 2013). The management of waste water is a global challenge affecting various regions of the world. The existing sanitation- both industrial and municipal water treatment infrastructure is overloaded, they then seep directly into the environment thus contaminating the groundwater sources. Reports indicate that every day, approximately two million tons of sewage is discharged into the planet’s various water bodies- oceans, lakes and rivers. Currently, there are systems in place which have been set up to deal with such however they have thus far been unable to support the growing population and urbanization. Pursuing Economic Development at all costs Most companies have argued that focusing on pollution as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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