Thursday, May 01, 2014

Contamination and Pollution in Land and Water in China - Frightening??

And people wonder why the Chinese are buying overseas land for agriculture!!  A recent report, noted in the official Xinhua news agency is sobering reading, with major contamination of land and water resources.

In Australia we should both consider ourselves very lucky..........but as sure a hell, we need to work hard to keep our soil and water clean both now and for the future.

That issue is part of the angst being expressed by many over the use of frackking in gas development along the eastern states, with concerns over both land and water damage.  It is also a concern along the Hunter Valley over mine expansion [ mostly coal] in that that will ruin the agriculture and horticulture there, not to mention the very valuable thoroughbred industry.

We have neither the people nor so far, the unregulated industrial development rampant in China. Luck or good management?  Whatever, let it continue!

The data from China is appalling, and not improving either it seems.
The soil close to Yangzong Lake, southwest China's Yunnan Province was seriously polluted by arsenic in 2009.

More than half of China's water reserves are moderately or heavily contaminated, the latest annual report released by the country's Ministry of Land and Resources has revealed. The findings confirm previously raised concerns over the condition of China's water and soil, despite large-scale cleanup programs that have cost billions of dollars, Xinhua reported.

The report revealed that 59.6 percent of the country's water was polluted last year, 2013. That's even more than in 2012, when the percentage was 57.4. Just over one tenth of water reserves fell into the high-quality category last year, although the methods used to determine quality were not specified.

These figures are similar to those from a 2010 report which found that the proportion of contaminated water was around 57 percent, suggesting that even though the government has made significant investments in cleanup efforts, the most it has been doing is keeping pollution at the same level. A proper improvement is still not noticeable in the results.

The situation is similar with the condition of China's soil, according to a new national soil survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The results indicate that nearly one fifth of China's arable land was polluted, with about three percent of it classified as moderately or seriously polluted. The bulk of the pollution came from heavy metals, the report noted.  This is pollution - it does not discuss erosion damage and related matters - they must surely be very significant as well.

This recent data released from the Communist Party of China has indicated that 19.4 percent, or around 1.05 million square kilometres of China’s agricultural land is contaminated with an array of toxic metals including cadmium, nickel and arsenic. These can be carcinogens and with China a significant supplier of frozen vegetables to Australia, there is some degree of concern over the quality of the products being imported.  Our family will NOT use frozen Chinese vegetables, and has not done so for years.

 Australia's soils are mostly old and inferior, when compared to many countries, with poor nutrient levels and low organic matter and relatively poor structural conditions - so we do need to make the best from our poorer soils.

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