China’s 13th Five Year Plan & the Wastewater Treatment Industry
The fact that China’s rapid social and economic development is resulting in the degradation of the ecological environment is not news anymore. Water pollution is just one of the environmental challenges facing China’s policy makers. Just how serious is the problem? According to statistics from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), around 32.5% of China’s 7 major river systems and 29.2% of China’s major basins do not meet the prevailing water quality standards (grade III and below) in 2015.
This has been largely due to the long history of unfettered emission of untreated/under-treated industrial, agriculture as well as domestic wastewater into these water bodies. Not only this, investments in wastewater treatment facilities have been both lacking and lagging behind. In the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) period, investments into treating wastewater have decreased, even as investments into cleaning up industrial air emission have increased substantially (see figure 1 below).