China has only 7 percent of the world's water reserves, but breakneck economic growth over the past three decades has increased pollution and made clean water supplies even scarcer. In addition, the number of accidents on Chinese factories has risen drastically in recent years. In 2005, the Songhua River in Northeast China was the scene of one of the worst chemical disasters in history. The spill affected millions of riverside residents along China’s third biggest river and strained ties with Russia.