China Human Rights

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China’s Water Woes: A Tug of Water Between Economic Growth & Sustainable Development

China’s Water Woes: A Tug of Water Between Economic Growth & Sustainable Development

When we think about water, we never think of it in finite terms like we do with oil and other valuable resources we consume. After all, why should we think of water as a limited supply? Our entire planet is covered with 75 percent water. It is implausible to believe that countries would go to war over water as they have for oil. Due to rapid economic growth, China is increasingly becoming a water stressed country as it faces two major problems with its water resource management: water pollution and water shortage. The water crises needs to be examined in finite terms as its quantity and quality continues to have a strangle hold on China. “China’s economic boom has, in a ruthless symmetry, fueled an equal and opposite environmental collapse. In its race to become the world’s next superpower, China is not only draining its rivers and aquifers with abandon; it is also polluting what’s left so irreversibly that the World Bank warns of catastrophic consequences for future generations.” (Larmer 2008, 153) Rapid economic growth and along with an increase in population is fueling environmental degradation and is becoming increasingly detrimental to its current and future economic growth in China. The gap between economic growth and environmental degradation is widening as water scarcity becomes a serious threat to China’s sustained economic growth. As the population increases the demand for water will also increase, therefore the government will have to make tough political and economic choices as its citizens, farmers and industries compete for China’s limited water supply. This tug of war has posed a great threat to the…...

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