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China releases plan on drinking-water source protection

The Chinese government has released a plan on the protection of drinking-water sources in urban areas to guarantee the safety of drinking water and protect people's health.

The Urban Drinking Water Sources Protection Plan (2008-2020), jointly issued by five ministries including the ministries of Environmental Protection and Health, will guide environmental-protection and pollution-control work at drinking-water source areas.

Illegal buildings, drain outlets, dump sites and factories will be removed from such areas, according to the plan that was estimated to cost 58 billion yuan (8.5 billion U.S.dollars).

Activities that may pollute the water in the protected areas, such as fish farming, swimming and fishing, will be banned.

The plan vowed to control water pollution caused by farming, animal husbandry, and water transportation in the areas. Local governments will also launch ecological restoration projects at protected areas.

Meanwhile, monitoring and emergency response systems will be enhanced for water quality control and management.

The plan comes after an investigation of water quality at 4,002 centralized drinking water sources in 655 cities and towns nationwide.

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