The river runs black

2006

China has only 7 percent of the world’s water reserves, but breakneck economic growth over the past two decades has increased pollution and made clean water supplies even scarcer. According to a local NGO in Jilin City, more than 200 factories empties untreated wastewater directly into the Songhua River. 300 million Chinese – equivalent to the population of the United States – no longer have access to clean drinking water. People in many parts of rural China now regard their drinking water as little better than liquid poison.