China will secure safe drinking water for 160 million rural residents by 2010 in 205 cities and 350 towns plagued either by scarcity of water supply or sub-standard drinking water.
In this way, the country may exceed a goal set by the UN's Millennium Declaration (made in 2000) by helping more rural people in need to have clean drinking water.
The declaration called for the world to cut by half, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
"By then, about 40 billion cubic meters of water supply, roughly the total shortfall of water supply throughout the country today, would be increased each year through building a group of key water supply projects to secure the sustainable development of economy," a leading water official said.
Addressing a high-level roundtable meeting sponsored by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) held in Beijing on Friday, Chen Lei, minister of water resources, made it clear that the government would do its best to achieve the goal.
By 2010, water consumption of China's per 10,000 yuan (US$1,341) worth of GDP is expected to be reduced by at least 20 percent as compared with that in 2005 with water pollution also to be controlled effectively in key river sections throughout the country, he said.
(China Daily November 3, 2007)