China suffers from severe water shortages and pollution. It has 22 percent of the world's population but only 7 percent of all freshwater runoff, and the situation is rapidly becoming more severe. In 2007, all seven major rivers in China suffered from moderate pollution, and 11 out of the 28 major lakes had a water quality grade V or higher—the lowest national standard for water quality, which means the water is essentially unusable for any purpose.

The newly amended Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law aims to reduce pollutants through incentives and better enforcement. In their China Environmental Health Project Research Brief "Quest for Clean Water: China's Newly Amended Water Pollution Control Law" Jingyun Li and Jingjing Liu, of Vermont Law School, discuss the changes to the law and its ability to curb rampant water pollution.

In addition to severe water pollution and shortage, China is also struggling with energy shortages. In her research brief "China's Power in Wastewater" Jenny Lieu, of the Sussex Energy Group, discusses the prospects of wastewater to biogas processes for reducing municipal wastewater and bringing electricity to off grid areas.

CEF is always looking for expert authors to contribute to the China Environmental Health Project Research Brief series. To volunteer or suggest a topic, please email