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World

China's smog eases, but problem now is the water

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Opening sequence

World

China's smog eases, but problem now is the water

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COMING UP:China's smog eases, but problem now is the water

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> Smoggy skies in China's capital maybe grabbing headlines lately, but Beijing's big environmental headache right now seems to be the water. The Environment Ministry reporting that pollution in key rivers, lakes, and reservoirs is getting worse. Contaminated by an influx of fertilizer, heavy metals, and waste. Around the giant Yangtze river in southern China, 20% of the water tested so dirty that it's unusable, even for farms or factories.
00:00:28
Another river in Northeastern has thousands of tons of raw sewage flowing into it every day. Reuters' David Stanway says this is very bad news in a country already struggling with tight resources.>> So in China there has been growing demand for water for quite a long time now.
00:00:45
So many competing pressures on China's scarce water supplies. You have the agriculture sector, you have the manufacturing sector, you have the energy sector, you have the mining sector. This has really put too much pressure on China's water supplies.>> China's skies have cleared to a degree since it declared warm pollution two years ago.
00:01:05
But it turns out that water is a lot harder to clean up.>> These problems are stored up over the years. When you take something like air pollution, once you cut off the source of pollution, the skies turn blue. That's not the case for water. For decades, pollutants can still be leaching into the water from the soil.
00:01:25
>> Beijing has earmarked more than $60 billion to clean up its water supply, planning new treatment facilities, irrigation systems, and repairs for aging infrastructure. But experts warn that won't be enough, saying that if the country really wants clean water, it's got to tackle the problem at the source, and get the polluters to stop polluting.