Air quality is often top of mind in conversations about China’s pollution challenges.
But as I met with the Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) volunteer leaders recently in China, water pollution was another big topic of discussion.
One-third of China’s lakes and rivers are already so polluted they’re not fit for human consumption, and the problem could worsen as the country’s rapid urbanization continues.
To assess the role nature-based solutions could play in combatting pollution from agriculture and other land development activities, our scientists analyzed the 135 surface water sources that serve China’s 30 largest and fastest-growing cities. We recently published our findings in a report called the China Urban Water Blueprint.
TNC’s study found that implementing conservation projects in certain water supply areas—over a combined total of 1.4 million hectares, about the size of Connecticut—could reduce water pollution by at least 10%.
That alone could improve water quality for more than 150 million Chinese citizens.