Half Empty

The battle to improve the environment is one priority of government reform in 2015. Premier Li Keqiang says in his work report that China will take a firm and unrelenting approach in environmental protection for sustainable development. Starting May 15th, CCTV NEWS begins an 12-part special on China's eco-protection, focusing on dealing with the worsening water problems. This series tells people's stories, with an investigative approach in finding China's solutions.


Half Empty ep.2: Alxa people grow drought-tolerant crops to survive

In the second episode of our special series "Half Empty", Han Bin visits Alxa in the west of China's Inner Mongolia.Farmers there are fighting desertification, as they try to balance saving water and making a basic living.

Half Empty ep.3: Monks work to keep vital Asian water source Sanjiangyuan healthy

The name, Sanjiangyuan, actually translates to mean "Three Rivers' Headwaters." It's not only a huge water source for China, water from the plateau also flows into several other Asian countries.

Half Empty ep.4: Community mgmt is key to water preservation at Sanjiangyuan

The best way to preserve water resources is to respect nature, and give up the idea of conquering it. That's the belief of a Tibetan leader of a local environmental group in Qinghai Province.

Half Empty ep.5: Remote sensing monitors wetland fluctuations

Scientists often refer to wetlands as the kidneys of the earth. They are one of nature's ways to filter pollution and protect a water source. Unfortunately, rapid urbanization and modernization have taken their toll on China's wetlands.

Half Empty ep.6: Run-off, aquaculture damaging Taihu Lake

A recent report by the Chinese government highlighted some progress in reducing industrial pollution. But it said pollution from agriculture is getting worse... affecting both water and soil.

Half Empty ep.7: Combined public strength to curb groundwater pollution

If he relied on his land, farmer Gao Yinggang could die of thirst. His well is now useless. He doesn't dare drink the water, as it is so close to a polluted river that poisoned all of his 600 ducks last year.

Half Empty ep.8: Ensuring urban tap water quality is a huge challenge

In 2001, the Chinese government set ambitious goals to improve drinking water quality and access to public water. It committed all cities to meeting national drinking water standards by end of this year.

Half Empty ep.9: Shifting energy sources helps save water resources

China has agreed with the US to reduce emissions sharply by 2030. It’s part of its strategy to transform its energy structure. Solar power is just one type of new energy the country is pursuing. Yet it requires huge amounts of water and can cause environmental damage.

Half Empty ep.10: High cost, low price restrain development

China has already invested tens of billions of dollars to solve the drought crisis, even diverting water from the south to the far and parched north. However, all the plans have only addressed part of the problem, leaving the authorities to search for additional fixes. Desalination is one, but the questions remain of cost and price.

Half Empty ep.11: China's massive project to ease northern drought

China's solution to the water shortage in the north is to take water from the south. In December, the central section was completed, and water started flowing to Beijing from Danjiangkou.

Half Empty ep.12: A foundation for solving urban water shortage

Water shortages are giving rise to the transformation of Chinese cities into what's called 'sponge cities,' where rain water is collected rather than allowed to run off. In April, the government announced that 16 cities will take part in the Sponge City pilot program.

  • Alxa: One of the driest places in China

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CCTV News' 12 episode series on China's water issues

China has the world's third largest landmass and a wealth of natural resources. But as the world's most populous nation moves further along the path of industrialization and urbanization, water -- the very basis of life -- is becoming more scarce.

Studio interview: China a vast land with uneven water distribution

For more insight, we're joined by our reporter Han Bin.

Turning seawater into drinkable freshwater

The water shortage problem is one that's shared around the world, and many countries have come up with a solution: drinking from the sea.

High cost of seawater desalination

For more analysis, we're now joined in the studio by Yang Fuqiang, Senior Advisor on climate change, energy and environment, from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Reduce industrial water consumption

Let's talk more about this balancing act with our guest in the studio, Wu Changhua, China Director of the Climate Group.

Public must be vigilant in reporting groundwater pollution incidents

Ground water is the most common source of drinking water in China. Pollution can lead to severe health problems. And it's very possible that the situation could still get worse, as economic development continues and the global climate continues to warm up.

Interview: Severe pollution alert at Taihu Lake

And Han Bin joins us in the studio now to discuss China's water pollution issues.

Poyang Lake is wetland of global importance

For more on China's wetland situation, we have our reporter Han Bin in the studio. First, tell us why you chose Poyang Lake as your focus.

Excess reclamation main cause of wetlands shrinking

Earlier, we spoke to Zhu Chunquan, China's country representative for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Warning signs of China’s drying wetlands

For more on China 's wetland situation, we have our reporter Han Bin in the studio. First, tell us why you chose Poyang Lake as your focus.

Headwaters of China's major waterways

We're joined in the studio now by Du Fachun, associate dean of the Institute of New Rural Development at Yunnan Agricultural University.

Protecting Sanjiangyuan

Han Bin is with us once again in the studio. Han Bin, the government has been spending a lot of money in recent years to restore and protect Sanjiangyuan.

Protecting vital water sources in Sanjiangyuan

More now in our special series looking at the pressing issue of water shortages here in China and today, Sanjiangyuan, China's highest and largest natural wetland reserve, contains key sources of the country's three major waterways - the Yellow, Yangtze and Lancang rivers.

Desertification now affecting large areas of land

Han Bin

China's water shortage is more dire than ever

We're joined now in the studio by Wu Changhua, Greater China Director at The Climate Group. She's also the vice chair of the governing council of the Asia-Pacific Water forum.

Water distributed unevenly across vast China

For more on China's water situation, we have CCTV's reporter Han Bin in the studio.

China faces a growing water crisis

China is one of the most water-rich countries in the world. But because of its huge expanding population and rapid economic development, the country is facing a growing water crisis.

Highlights of Chinese government work report for 2015

Following are highlights of the Chinese government work report distributed Thursday morning to the press ahead of the annual session of the National People's Congress.

Special Series: Half Empty