Murky Waters in Uzbek City – Institute for War and Peace Reporting – P220

Georgy Vitryakov reporting on lack of resources to insure steady flow of clean water to Uzbekistan city of Angren. There are regulations to treat water supply with chlorine and ultraviolet light but chlorine is in short supply though it is more likely to be used during the rainy seasons – spring and fall. Residents are often told to boil the water before use. Georgy reporting:

“Problems with water provision in this city of 170,000 people, about 100 kilometres south of Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent, stem from years of under-investment in the local treatment plant. The poor state of the infrastructure has forced staff to cut corners just to keep any kind of supply going.

In Soviet times, Angren developed into an industrial centre, with engineering, construction materials and rubber factories all powered by the plentiful coal deposits in the area.

One resident, a pensioner who gave his name as Ilhom, described how householders stored up water in buckets and plastic containers whenever the taps were working.

“After we let the water settle, there’s always dirt, mud or sand at the bottom. When it rains, the water coming out of the tap is brown and smells of clay,” he said. “It’s always been like that. What can we do about it?”

Daily power cuts interrupt the pumping of water through mains pipes, and this is compounded by numerous leaks in the network. A source at the city’s hygiene and disease prevention agency told IWPR that perhaps 90 per cent of the mains network was in need of repair or replacement.

The situation is only made worse by people in villages near Angren tapping into the mains supply to divert water for their own use.

Officially, health experts say that problems with the supply are not a danger to human health. Angren’s hospital refused to provide data on waterborne diseases, while the city hygiene agency said it had only recorded one case in the last five years, which involved people drawing contaminated water from a well rather than from the mains supply.

Doctors say that boiling tap water should ensure it is safe, and Angren’s residents have been made aware of this.”

Go to IWPR website for full article:

Chinese Political Will to Clean up Water and Rivers lacking

A river in Rui'an, Zhejiang province, China

Gu Yongqiang explores the technology of remediation, quality of water and rivers, and the will of the people and politicians to make their waters “Boatable, fishable swimmable, drinkable” again. From my studies on the IJC and other organizations the key ingredient to getting anything done in politics is political will. This is lacking with many macro goals, e.g., finding clean energy, prevention of starvation worldwide, elevating the quality of life for many suffering in the world today, providing clean drinking water around the world. Here is a blurb from Tim Haab and a link to “In China You Don’t Dare Swim in much less Drink the Water” by

Tim Haab writes:

Boatable, fishable, swimmable, drinkable?

Local environmentalists say that China has enough money and technological prowess to clean up its rivers. The missing ingredient for an environmental campaign? Official motivation. Local governments depend on polluting factories to buoy local economies; local bureaucrats know their promotions are contingent on keeping growth rates high. Still, Chinese citizens are no longer sated simply by economic advancement and have taken to Weibo to express their dissatisfaction.