Abstract/Summary: In the 1950s, shortly after the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the central government created the Patriotic Health Campaign (PHC) in order to standardize and disseminate health focused educational materials intended to control and prevent infectious diseases (1). “Water improvement”, meaning measures aimed at providing safe drinking water for households in China, was an important part of the PHC. After 60 years of water improvement policies, programs, and investments, the rural water supply sanitation and hygiene in China has improved dramatically, and water-related diseases no longer negatively impact the rural population as they once did. In addition to improvements related to the quantity and quality of the rural water supply, water improvement programs also promoted improved hygiene, sanitation, and other health-related behaviors among rural households. Together, such initiatives have improved the quality of life and the health of hundreds of millions of rural residents, while also contributing to economic and social advancement across rural China (2). The purpose of this article is to describe how the PHC served as a foundation for the expansion and improvement of drinking water supply in rural China, and to summarize the key programs, projects, and initiatives that followed over the last 60 years.
Abstract/Summary:The application of Water Safety Plans (WSPs) in China varies throughout the country. Although pilot WSP projects in China were initiated shortly after WSP was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004, they have yet to be used for water supply facilities at a large scale. To better understand the evolution of WSP application in China, a systematic review was conducted to identify all published WSP related studies in China. Eighteen studies, which included 311 water systems, were included in the final analysis. Risk matrix, water supply risk factors, and other data were extracted and analyzed. Text mining methods were also used to better understand risks that can be addressed by WSPs (both potential and actual risks). This study revealed a number of noteworthy differences between and among urban and rural water systems in China. The primary risks associated with most urban water supply systems tended to be related to mechanical failure/s in the water treatment process. Rural water supply systems appear to suffer from similar problems, but insufficient overall management capacity was more prevalent in rural systems. Overall, the evidence suggests that, to date, the use of WSPs in China has been primarily limited to pilot studies, and full implementation of WSPs in China appears to still be in the early stages. The paper closes with a summary of the key obstacles identified as well as a discussion of policies and technical options which could increase the use of WSPs in both urban and rural China. Among other recommendations, the data indicate that there is strong need for the development and implementation of a simplified WSP approach designed specifically for small rural systems in China.