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China's Water Quality, Quantity, Environmental Management Issues and the Effectiveness of Government-Imposed Solutions: An Analysis from Thirty Thousand Feet

Howells, Jennifer M. (2010) China's Water Quality, Quantity, Environmental Management Issues and the Effectiveness of Government-Imposed Solutions: An Analysis from Thirty Thousand Feet. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

China's water quality, quantity, and environmental management issues and policies were analyzed through three lenses: environmental policy through regulations, policies and projects to increase water quantity, and water quality treatment and distribution methods pursued. Three issues, rather than one, were focused upon in order to enable a more holistic understanding of the political climate and the policy mechanisms employed by the Chinese government. Concerning environmental regulations, current state of the art, as well as implementation issues were studied concerning Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in China. Additionally, China's surface water regulations were compared to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) National Primary Drinking Water Standards in order to determine the level of stringency reached by Chinese standards. Though it was determined that Chinese standards are equally -or more strict -than the American standards, implementation and enforcement of regulations remains an issue.The effectiveness of some water quantity solutions implemented by the Chinese government were explored as well, specifically, the effectiveness of the South-to-North water transfer project was analyzed by comparing the water gained from that project to the water saved if more efficient irrigation methods were installed under varying scenarios of acceptance for three study years. It was determined that the amount of water gained from the entire water transfer project was nearly equal to, or less than, the volume of water saved if more efficient irrigation methods were utilized. Additionally, further development of rainwater harvesting program in Gansu Province was referenced as another means by which to increase the quantity of water available.Government priorities concerning various methods of water treatment and distribution were addressed as well. Though the government has made major investments in the construction of modern treatment plants, requisite investments have not been made in the distribution system. Consequently, the collection rates in many areas are low. In order to bridge the gap between infrastructure construction and treated water demand, distributed treatment, or point-of-use treatment was also explored. However, it was determined that the barriers to entry of point-of-use treatment in China are high, and thus, it would be difficult to establish a treatment program.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Howells, Jennifer M.jmh98@pitt.eduJMH98
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCasson, Leonardcasson@pitt.eduCASSON
Committee MemberLantagne, Danieledanielelantagne@earthlink.net
Committee MemberGao, Digaod@pitt.eduGAOD
Committee MemberMonnell, Jasonjdm49@pitt.eduJDM49
Date: 13 May 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 16 April 2010
Approval Date: 13 May 2010
Submission Date: 26 April 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: China; environment; policy; water
Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-04262010-141000/, etd-04262010-141000
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/7674

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