Among the numerous challenges China faces in its quest to become a great power, the biggest, perhaps, is mounting water insecurity. China has 20 per cent of the world’s population but only 7 per cent of the world’s fresh water. To make matters worse, the country’s scarce water resources are unevenly distributed between the south and north of the country. With rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, the demand for fresh water is increasing at a very fast rate. It is forecast that by 2030, China’s water demand will surpass 800 billion cubic metres. However, China’s supply is severely undermined by worsening water scarcity and pollution. SCARCITY AND POLLUTION Due to over-exploration and inefficient consumption, China’s water resources are declining as more rivers disappear and aquifer water levels drop. A 2013 report published by the Chinese authorities showed that the number of rivers in China has decreased from at least 50,000 […]