Water: What if, What Else, and What are the Odds

Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:03
Posted in category Uncategorized

For the last few months, I have been bringing some of China’s finest together to discuss topics like inflation and energy. The goal is simple, and the results have been very interesting.

Where we are having a hard time really is in keeping up. Our January discussion was on inflation, just as the energy law was becoming the topic of discussion, and we had the energy discussion just after the snow storm that knocked out power to 17 provinces.

So, it is with that in mind, that I am bringing everyone together again to discuss China’s water situation. It is a situation that has been highlighted in a number of articles lately. China is expected to tap resources by 2020, droughts have impacted the South, the Yangtze is at a 150 year low, and recent reports of red algae blooms have rounded out the coverage.

There will be a lot to cover, and I am looking forward to developing this discussion as there are a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities that will come out of China’s water usage.

So, with that in mind, I would like to put several of the key questions we will be asking out to readers to see what you think… and as always, those that participate will be rewarded with notes from the event.

1) How serious is the issue of water in China?
2) What are the threats to China’s water supply?
3) Will power will the new environment “super” ministry have to protect water sources of China?
4) What is the level of public awareness in China of water pollution in China?
5) What has been the impact on the consumer of polluted water?
6) Is it possible for the Wuxi algae blooms to return? What would be the impact of algae blooms on the Yangtze?
7) What technologies are available/ needed to purify, create, or reclaim water in China?

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4 Responses to “Water: What if, What Else, and What are the Odds”

  1. Levin says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Are the Chinese thinking about using algae as energy source ? Algae can grow very quickly on nothing more than just sun light and carbon dioxide.

  2. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Dried, it’s also delicious sprinkled on cornflakes. Regrettably Levin, they need rather more than sun light and carbon dioxide. They suck all the oxygen out of the water – a massive problem if you’re a fish.

    Rich keep me posted on this I’d to take part in these discussions. Thanks – Chris

  3. Rich says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 11:48 pm


    I knwo that algae has received some consideration in the west, but I have not heard of anything in China. Given the problems they are having with algae though…. perhaps they should start looking at it


    One of my concerns at this point is that the Yangtze is reaching lows never seen. Taihu was the same….

    Getting to your point on the oxygen levels, I was recently told by someone that it was not the algae that was the problem, but the treatment. Apparently it was use of chemicals to kill the algae that really mess things up. One person’s account..

    Will email you on the other matter shortly.


  4. Rich says:

    March 24th, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Here is a really interesting article from WSJ about water levels in the north

    On Beijing’s Outskirts, The Thirst Is Growing