China's air is the worst in the world, how bad is their water?
The photo below is of a journalist taking a sample of water from the Jianha river. The water is red because of factories illegally squirting their waste products into the public streams.
Yes, that red sludge is water.
Widespread outrage against China's environmental issues that began when Beijing's air pollution hit record levels last month has spread to encompass another major public health threat: water pollution.
Last week, an eyeglass-retailer executive from Rui'an City, coastal Zhejiang province, offered the city's environmental protection chief Bao Zhenming more than �20,000 to take a 20-minute dip in a highly polluted local river. The entrepreneur, Jin Zengmin, posted the dare to his microblog beneath pictures showing the waterway overflowing with discarded aluminum cans, polystyrene boxes and paper lanterns. He blamed the river's industrial demise on dumping by a local rubber shoe factory.
The Rui'an government responded by saying that most of the river's pollution was caused by individuals, not factories, and could be attributed to overpopulation. Bao has since declined the offer.
"Finally this issue [water pollution] has aroused the attention of the general public," said Ma Jun, head of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. "Although it's going to take a long time [to fix], now we have seen a starting point."