13 striking photos that show how polluted China's water has become


china's water pollution


A man points to water and soil which turned red after being contaminated by industrial waste from a closed dye factory in 2014.

If you woke up tomorrow and suddenly discovered your local river had turned blood red and that an awful, caustic smell had permeated your air, you would be alarmed, right? For residents of Wenzhou, China, and millions like them in China's rapidly industrializing and growing cities and towns, this has become a reality.


In April of 2015, China issued a water pollution and prevention action plan, which outlined how China would improve its water quality by 2020. The plan has proven to be more difficult than the country anticipated, and they are having a hard time stopping the pollution.

The following photos show instances of water pollution around China dating from 2006 to the present.

Christian Storm wrote an earlier version of this story.