Economic expansion in China is threatening the country’s scarce water resources, according to a new study by the University of Leeds. Uneven development of trade across the country means that water-intensive or polluting industries are expanding in areas where water is in shortest supply.
Dr Klaus Hubacek and Mr Dabo Guan from the University’s Sustainability Research Institute assessed how much water different industries consume or pollute. Using these figures, they compared the ‘virtual water flow’ between regions in China based on each region’s imports and exports and the water consumed during their production.
Dr Hubacek said, “You would expect drier regions to depend chiefly on industries that use less water and import goods that require a lot of water to produce. In fact our study found the opposite to be true.”
Isobel Briggs | alfa
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