Some economic booms grind to a halt, others run out of steam, but in China the biggest risk is that growth will dry up. Water, the country's scarcest resource, is running out. Pollution, waste and over-exploitation have combined with the expansion of mega-cities to foul up wells and suck rivers dry.
Signs of a crisis are apparent everywhere. In the arid north, four-fifths of the wetlands along the region's biggest river system have dried up. In the west, desert sands are encroaching on many cities. In the south, the worst drought in 50 years has ruined crops and prompted water shortages even along the banks of the Yangtze River, the nation's biggest waterway.
Domestic newspapers are increasingly filled with grim statistics and reports of the latest pollution spill. In June, the state environment protection agency estimated that 90 percent of urban water supplies were contaminated with organic or industrial waste. According to the water resources ministry, 400 of the country's 600 cities are short of water.
Water has always been China's Achilles heel. The world's most populous country has per capita water resources of 2,200m3 -- less than a quarter of the world average. The shortfall between supply and demand is estimated at 6 billion cubic meters. The gap is likely to widen as the population grows from 1.3 billion people to an estimated 1.6 billion by 2030.
Worsening the problem is the stark regional variation between the dry north and the wet south. Beijing -- one of 110 cities deemed to suffer from "extreme shortages" -- has been forced to import supplies from a widening circle of sources.
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一些經濟繁榮慢慢停止, 其他人精疲力竭, 但在中國最大的風險是成長將烘乾。澆灌, 國家的最缺乏的資源, 消失。汙染、廢物和over-exploitation 與兆城市擴展結合弄髒井和吮河乾燥。危機的標誌是明顯的到處。在乾旱的北部, 沼澤地的四分之五沿區域的最大的河系烘乾了。在西部, 沙漠沙子侵犯在許多城市。在南部, 最壞的天旱在50 年破壞了莊稼和被提示的缺水沿長江, 國家的最大的水路的銀行。國內報紙用冷面統計越來越被填裝並且最新的汙染的報告溢出。在6月, 狀態環境保護代辦處估計, 都市供水的百分之90 被沾染了以有機或工業廢料。根據水源部, 400 國家的600
城市是水短小。水總是中國的致命弱點。世界的人口眾多的國家比有人均2,200m3 水源-- 世界平均四分之一。赤字在供給和需求之間估計在6 十億立方米。空白可能加寬因為人口增長從1.3 十億個人到估計1.6 十億在2030 年以前。惡化問題是純然的地方變異在乾燥北部和濕南部之間。北京-- 110 個城市的當中一個被視為遭受"極端短缺" -- 被迫使進口供應從來源一個加寬的圈子。