China 's Massive Population Pollution

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William Clements 26 November 14 Hydrology Prof. Wetzel China’s massive population has lead to such high levels of water use that traditional sources of water have started to run dry and threaten the water supplies of farming communities of the north. New plans have been made to introduce a desalination plant into the area. This plant could generate up to one million tons of fresh water each day (Wong, 2014). Such an increase in water supply would greatly reduce the need for water from rivers used for irrigation of farmland. Water use in Beijing is at such high levels that current municipal sources are almost at capacity (Jinran, 2014). This further strains the local rivers and reduces the efficiency and production of farms. The water…show more content…
However, the environmental effects of desalination plants can cause devastation in the coastal areas where the water is taken. Desalination plants produce brine which is released back into the local waters; the brine is so high in salinity that it becomes toxic to organisms and creates dead zones in the water (“Resource Issues”, 2014). While reverse osmosis systems have many benefits, they do have impacts on the environment as well as high costs. However, given the circumstances of the situation, Beijing is very well suited for this type of water filtration. Provided that the machinery is maintained and the brine is disposed of properly, the monetary costs are worth the benefits. The effects that overuse of river water has caused on the agricultural areas of northern China have had huge effects economically and environmentally. With the growing need for more water in Beijing, the continued use of river water would have been detrimental to continued agriculture in the area. If a desalination plant was to be implemented, it would provide freshwater to a large portion of Beijing 's population, reducing the strain on the rivers. While not a permanent solution to water shortages, reverse osmosis desalination is the best solution to help protect China’s rivers and provide large amounts of clean water to Beijing. Many benefits arise with the implementation of desalination plants by producing new forms of drinkable water in places where more common sources of clean water
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