[Media Forward] Water Pollution Treatment Needs Introduction of Private Capital

DATA:2017-11-09  Views:24

11-09-2017  Lao Niu Foundation



Water pollution is worsening day by day, while there lacks an effective solution all over the world. Li Xuyong, researcher from Research Center of Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: estimated by government and non-governmental organizations, by 2020, RMB 4 to 5 trillion would be required to treat the black-odor problem in urban water pollution, and most prefecture-level cities need RMB 10 to 30 billion, but local governments do not have enough money.


Photo by Andrew Peacock


Li Xuyong, researcher from Research Center of Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, made the above statement on “Water Source Conservation Expert Symposium” held in Hong Kong on November 2, 2017.


He added:

Water management was a long-term project. The past model “only treat water” with no control over land so that water pollution problems appeared repeatedly. Li Xuyong said that the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) advocated by the state was one of the solutions for water environment treatment. However, although the volume of PPP was huge, most participants were state-owned enterprises and centrally-administered enterprises, and the money still came from the government; but private capital was not fully mobilized.


Zhang Xiaoquan, Chief Scientific Officer of TNC Chinese project, said:


We could use the way of “Water Fund”, which is to raise funds through donors and downstream water source users, thus to collect private capital and improve upstream water sources. In his opinion, “Water Fund” was an ecological water treatment way in which downstream water source users raise funds for the protection, planning and management of upstream area while reserving endowment fund to support operation, and investors could enjoy the return by improved water quality.


By now, TNC has 29 Water Fund projects in operation all over the world and 30 projects are under planning, mainly in South America and Latin America, involving a drainage area of 2,895 square kilometers and the funds has reached 200 million U.S. dollars.



Water Fund Project Site in Quito, South America   Photo by ©Bridget Besaw



In addition to Water Fund model, Niu Gensheng, founder of Lao Niu Foundation and Vice Chairman of the board of Nature Conservancy China, believes that in order to let more people drink “good” water, it is recommended to effectively integrate various resources and better allocate water resources. He suggests separate supply of drinking water and domestic water in order to avoid excessive waste of drinking water.


Chinese Academy of Sciences released a report in 2015. It is reported that the intensity of antibiotic emissions in densely populated eastern areas was six times more than that of western areas, among which, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Haihe basin, Yangtze River and Xijiang River were the areas with the most antibiotic emissions in China. The antibiotic content per unit area in Pearl River ranked in the top, and the most polluted places included Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hebei and other regions with better economy status. In addition, compared with foreign countries, the overall antibiotic concentrations in rivers in China are high at an average of 303 nanogram per liter compared with 120 nanogram per liter in the United States, 9 nanogram per liter in Italy and 20 nanogram per liter in Germany.


Photo by Mark Godfrey



Niu Gensheng believed that:


From this polluted geographical distribution, we could divert high-quality water from less polluted and sparsely populated area to densely populated and polluted areas, and other projects like “west-east gas transmission” made the water resource allocation feasible. He also suggested that during the promotion, it is suggested to separating drinking water, plant irrigation, and animal feeding water from industrial and domestic water to let people drink clean water in the first time.



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