The article was published on the World Bank website the 29th of February.
Qiangtang River is the largest river in China’s Zhejiang Province, providing drinking water for most of the 15 million people living in the river basin. It is called the “Mother River” of Zhejiang.
In the last few decades, with rapid economic growth, huge volumes of untreated wastewater and solid waste were dumped into the river, polluting the water and environment. This in turn poses a serious threat to the living conditions and the safety of drinking water of a large number of urban and rural residents.
While larger cities have made good progress in improving environmental services in recent years, small towns are lagging behind. Water supply is estimated to be safe in only 29% of Zhejiang’s small towns. Wastewater treatment coverage rate in small towns is only 26%. Sanitary solid waste disposal facilities are almost non-existent.