Toxic Spill Cuts Off Water To Thousands In China
By GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 11 minutes ago

BEIJING - Water supplies to 28,000 people in northern China have been cut after an overturned truck spilled 33 tons of toxic oil into a river, state media said Wednesday, the latest mishap involving the country's already polluted waterways.

The overloaded truck was carrying wash oil, also known as creosote, when it overturned and dumped its contents into a river in Shanxi province, Xinhua News Agency reported. An investigation showed the truck overturned due to brake failure, the report said.

The spill flowed into the Yangjiapo reservoir, contaminating 70 million cubic feet of water, the agency said, citing the provincial environmental bureau.

Supplies to the towns of Dazhai and Sandu in Xiyang county, which the reservoir serves, have been cut, Xinhua said.

The spill occurred Oct. 26, Xinhua said, but did not say why it was reported a week later.

Cleanup crews were using pumps, tons of activated carbon and other materials to absorb the spill, the agency reported.

Authorities were trucking in drinking water to affected residents, and were trying to connect water pipes to a large well in the nearby village of Mahui, Xinhua said.

Most of China's canals, rivers and lakes are severely tainted by agricultural and household pollution. Chinese leaders say the country faces a critical water shortage, in part because of chronic pollution and chemical accidents.

In August, China said it would spend $125 billion to improve water treatment and recycling by 2010 to fight the mounting threat of urban water pollution.

In November 2005, a chemical plant blast spilled tons of benzene and other toxic material into the Songhua River, halting water supplies to millions in China and Russia. Local authorities were accused of reacting too slowly and delaying public disclosure of the spill.
Also see my earlier entries on China;
China, Worst Water Crisis In The World

So much for their economic boom. Who is getting rich from it? Certainly not the people. The government of this country is blatantly wasting and allowing the pollution of their most precious resource for profit. Sooner or later the candle will burn to the middle, and then what? Raise prices on comsumers when it is the industrial pollution and government mismanagement and graft that is killing the water supply? And here is the kicker: they don't want to piss off the industries by actually making them pay for their pollution however, because they might go away... so that is worth the continued toxification of their country. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

China Is Damned

And just how safe is the water being used by farmers to irrigate their crops if 90% of their groundwater is polluted? It is simply irresponsible of China to not enact strict measures to penalize polluters and conserve water. Most water is wasted in the irrigation process, and considering the excessive drought China has been going through in part due to climate change, conservation and water reprocessing techniques need to be enacted yesterday. And Tibet should not have to pay the price for China's irresponsible behavior, And China's water Resource Minister agrees that their plan to steal Tibet's water is not feasible.

This is a conundrum of their own making, and it is immoral to continue along the road they are on. With economic progress comes responsibility, and that includes carbon emission caps along with effective management of resources. You cannot claim progress without that.

China Turns To Desalinization To Ease Water Crisis

I wonder where the energy to run the plants is going to come from as there is a fuel shortage as well. Also, the desalinization process contributes to climate change in higher carbon emissions. This is just a temporary bandaid that does not address the waste and climate change that is causing this drought, besides overpopulation concentrated in urban areas.