One Quarter of China’s Water Unusable

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Reports from China's Ministry of Environmental Protection released on Monday show that almost 25 percent of China's surface water is unfit for even industrial use, according to Reuters.

Inspectors took samples taken from major rivers and lakes and declared that only 49.3 percent was safe for drinking, or within the first three grades of China's six-grade system for determining water quality. Another 26.4 percent was graded IV or V–fit only for use in industry and agriculture–with the remaining 24.3 percent as grade VI, or unfit for any purpose.

Waste discharged directly into waterways from small paper mills, cement factories and chemical plants have been particularly difficult for the ministry to curtail in recent years, adding to the pollution.

–Michael Webster

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