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Government Study Finds 60 Percent of China's Groundwater Polluted

A polluted canal in Beijing
A polluted canal in BeijingPhotograph by Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

At 59.6 percent of sites monitored by the Chinese government, the groundwater quality was “very polluted” or “relatively polluted”—that is, unfit for drinking—in 2013, according to a study released on Tuesday by China’s Ministry of Land and Resources.

The government tested 4,778 sites in 203 cities. The study showed that China’s water quality had worsened somewhat from the previous year, when 57.4 percent of test sites were classified as polluted.