China has introduced the country's first national plan on groundwater pollution control, urging a combination of legal, economic, technological and administrative measures for groundwater protection, according to ministries.
The ministries of environmental protection, land and resources, and water resources announced Friday at a press conference that the State Council, or China's Cabinet, has already approved the national plan on groundwater pollution control for 2011-2020.
China will invest a total of 34.66 billion yuan (around 5.48 billion U.S. dollars) on the prevention and treatment of pollution in the country's groundwater in 2011-2020, according to the plan.
The money will go to six categories of projects, including survey, prevention, remediation of groundwater pollution, control of pollution in underground drinking water sources, agriculture-related groundwater pollution control, and underground water environment monitoring capacity building.
Currently, municipal sewage, household garbage, industrial wastes and seepages of fertilizers and pesticides have caused glaring pollution to groundwater in some parts of China, seriously affecting economic production and people's lives, according to ministry officials at the conference.
Under the plan, China will form a general understanding of the country's groundwater pollution situation and preliminarily bring the sources of groundwater pollution under control by 2015.
Furthermore, the country aims to fully monitor the typical sources of groundwater pollution and to make the safety of essential underground drinking water sources well protected by 2020, according to the plan.
Zhao Hualin, a senior pollution control official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said industries related to groundwater treatment will be a new growth point of the environmental protection sector, adding that policy initiatives will be introduced to foster the industry's development.