China has banned the manufacture and sale of some “dangerous” water purification products, saying they can cause illness.
The move came as authorities warned that a “serious” threat to the health of people living near the country’s vast network of water purifications plants was growing.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said on Thursday that water purifyors have been banned from selling the products in public or in private.
The MEP said that the ban was aimed at ensuring public safety and health.
China is one of the world’s largest producers of water, with nearly 10 percent of the country producing and exporting its water.
The country also has the world most polluted rivers and lakes, which are responsible for more than two-thirds of all water pollution worldwide.
More than 40 percent of all Chinese drinking water supplies are treated in factories or other industrial sites, with more than half of that treatment coming from factories.
In recent years, China has been struggling with water shortages.
On Thursday, China said that its total use of water would reach 20.6 trillion cubic meters (Tcf) in 2020, compared with 18.6 Tcf in 2015.
Last year, the country reported that it had spent more than US$8 billion on water purifiesions, and said it had a plan to spend US$25 billion by 2020 on water supplies and other technologies to help tackle water pollution.
In an effort to address the crisis, China is trying to upgrade water infrastructure, including the countrys biggest river, the Yangtze, and to build dams that would allow more water to flow into the country.
China’s economy is currently contracting as the country struggles to curb pollution, with the average Chinese household now using around 10 times as much water as they did in 2010.