Shanghai finds waterways ‘severely polluted’ after floating pigs

A Shanghai government report found more than half of the city’s rivers and lakes are “severely polluted,” boosting concerns about water quality months after thousands of dead pigs were found floating in its streams.

About 53 percent of surface water tested was given the worst of five levels of water quality, while only 3.4 percent was deemed top grade or “unpolluted,” according to the report, citing acensus conducted by the Shanghai Water Authority and Shanghai Bureau of Statistics.

Toxic lakes and water scarcity are putting pressure on the government as anger over pollution has replaced land grabs as the primary cause of social unrest. China’s leaders have said they are willing to tolerate slower economic growth to improve the quality of development and won’t sacrifice the environment.

In March, authorities found more than 10,000 hog carcasses floating in the Huangpu River in March, likely dumped by farmers wanting to avoid disposal fees. The mouth of the Yangtze’s water is the best of the city’s main reservoir, where its 23 million residents source 70 percent of their water, the Shanghai Daily reported. The Huangpu serves as a reserve water resource, the newspaper said.

China plans to invest 2 trillion yuan ($327 billion) to treat polluted water, the official Xinhua News Agency cited the National Development and Reform Commission as saying last month.

Beijing Originwater Technology Co. (300070), a water purification company, has jumped 70 percent this year in Shenzhen, compared with an 11 percent drop for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Component Index.

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