Many people in China are starting to develop health problems because of the amount of pollution in the country. Earlier this week, government officials announced that they needed to shut down many schools because children were starting to develop nosebleeds due to air pollution. Pollution has also deterred many tourists from visiting the country. The government has started creating new programs to reverse pollution.
One of their solutions is a new clean water program. The program has been very successful so far and could be beneficial if it was introduced in the United States as well.
Background on the Chinese Water Problems
China’s water has become extremely dirty in recent years. Most of the country’s water problems stem from its agricultural industry. One of the biggest problems is that most farmers were growing rice and other crops that tend to pollute neighboring water supplies. This has been a serious problem when their patties were flooded, because the local water would get dirty.
Many citizens have become outraged with the negligence of local farmers and poor government regulation. They have started demanding that the government take action to reverse the problem. The citizens started protesting many years ago and the government finally passed new regulations four years ago.
China’s Approach to Cleaning Water
The Chinese government passed the Clean Water Program in 2009. They realized that the rice was contaminating the local water during flood season. Their solution was to encourage farmers to grow corn instead to protect the environment.
Farmers were initially reluctant to do so, because corn isn’t as profitable. The government appeased them by paying them subsidies. A recent study from Stanford revealed that their response has solved many of the country’s water problems. The government has spent a lot more money subsidizing farmers, but it has actually saved the country money in other ways. The government has saved more money on cleaning water than it has spent on the new program.
Can the New Program be Offered in the U.S.?
The United States has been having more water pollution in recent years as well. Many people have started using water filtration products such as these to deal with it. These problems can also be traced to the agricultural industry.
The United States has been offering subsidies to farmers for many years. They have paid them to create many crops that the world market doesn’t need. The farmers have given their excess crops to the government, which has dumped many of them into the ocean. The government could solve many environmental problems by reforming their subsidies to avoid such waste.
However, the government may also want to look at China’s clean water program. They may find that they could protect the environment by encouraging farmers to grow crops that are more environmentally friendly.
According to WWF Global, the worst crops for the world’s water supply are rice, sugar cane, wheat and cotton. The United States government has spent more money subsidizing these crops than most of the others that are produced in this country. They may want to pay subsidies to help farmers produce corn and other crops that will be more beneficial to the environment. Since farmers typically produce more crops than the market wants to buy anyways, this could help protect the environment.
Kalen writes about trends in the environment and how they impact us. He also shares tips on how to live a greener life and discusses policy decisions that could help our country live a greener lifestyle.
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