Air doing OK, say officials; water, perhaps not so much
Beijing officials were recently accused of falsifying statistics and manipulating data to make the city’s air pollution seems less of a problem in the run-up to the Summer Olympics. Unsurprisingly, a spokesperson for the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau refutes the accusation, insisting, “We will honor all the environmentally related pledges made during the Olympic bid. Our targets will be definitely met, there is no doubt about that.”
Be that as it may, the city is facing further concern about water supplies, as drought intensifies in the northern province of Hebei, which supplies Beijing with much of its drinking water. In an interview with the Financial Times, another provincial official suggests that all of the water being pumped to Beijing to ensure a hydrated Olympics is threatening the livelihood of peasants in northern provinces.
Will be interesting to see what happens when the Games roll around …