China Faces Problems With Drinking Water


A report released by China shows that the country is facing a serious problem with drinking water. According to the study about  80% of the country's shallow ground water is not clean enough to drink or bathe in. It can only be used for industrial purposes.

Dirty drinking water exists especially in the countryside, where the population gets water from shallow wells.  This water has become more and more contaminated through farming, factories and household waste.

While air pollution has caught the attention of the country's politicians, the situation of underground water has widely been ignored. China may be facing another big environmental problem.

According to the report large cities are not affected by water pollution because they get their water from underground reservoirs that are often hundreds or thousands of feet deep . In addition, cities operate purification plants that get rid of harmful substances before drinking water gets to the people.

On the other hand the use of shallow underground water in rural areas has grown considerably in the past decade. The report states that nitrates and ammonia are the major pollutants. In some areas heavy metals were also found in the water.



Authorities found out that while none of the 2000 investigated wells had a Class I water quality, over 70% were classified in the worst two categories, those unfit for drinking.



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  • according to = as said by ...
  • affect = to do something that produces a change
  • air pollution = the act of making air dirty
  • ammonia = poisonous gas with a strong bad smell that is used for making chemicals
  • attention = being aware of something
  • authorities = organisation in the government that makes decisions
  • classify = put into a category or group
  • considerably = a lot
  • contaminated= dirty
  • decade = ten years
  • environment = the world around us
  • especially = above all
  • face = deal with
  • harmful = dangerous
  • heavy metal = metal that has a high density and is poisonous
  • household waste = the material that you produce in the household and that you do not need any more
  • ignore = not pay attention to
  • in addition = also
  • industrial purposes = for factories and production
  • investigate = look at closely
  • nitrate = substance that has nitrogen and oxygen in it
  • politician = person who works for the government or for a political party
  • pollutant = material that causes pollution and makes things dirty
  • purification plant = factory that cleans water before you can use it
  • reservoir = lake where water is stored before it is transported to a person's house
  • release = to make public
  • rural = in the countryside
  • serious = very dangerous
  • shallow = not deep
  • study = piece of work that is done in order to find out more about a certain  subject
  • substance = material
  • unfit = not suited for
  • well = deep hole in the ground from which people take water