China to ensure safe drinking water in countryside


The State Council on Wednesday passed a five-year plan aimed to ensure that the accessibility of safe drinking water for the country's vast rural population.
According to the plan, the Chinese government will strive to solve the problems concerning drinking water safety for 298 million rural residents from 2011-2015, according to a statement issued by the State Council after a regular meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

A total of 114,000 rural schools, and nearly 80 percent of the rural population will have access to safe drinking water through centralized water supply facilities, according to the statement.

In China's 11th Five-Year Plan period of 2006-2011, 105 billion yuan was used to make the drinking water safe for 210 million rural inhabitants.

Noting the poor quality of drinkable water in the rural areas, local governments were urged in the statement to improve protection of water sources as well as strengthen the prevention and treatment of water pollution.

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