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China's Attempt To Bring Safe Drinking Water To All Runs Dry

For years Beijing has said it's working to provide safe drinking water to people in the countryside, but experts say the goal is far from being realized.

A villager drinks drips of water in Zhongbang Village, southern China
A villager drinks drips of water in Zhongbang Village, southern China
Yao Jiayi and Han Wei

BEIJING — Ten years after launching a national campaign to provide hundreds of millions people with clean drinking water, many residents of China's vast rural areas still lack this basic public service.

In 2005, the Ministry of Water, the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Health released a report on the quality of rural drinking water, concluding that that at least 323 million people — one-third of the rural population — was exposed to unsafe supplies.

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