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Context : OnChina

BldgBlog on The Newest River in China

"On the streets of Harbin, life seemed normal, if somewhat surreal, given that a major metropolitan area of several million people had almost no running water or usable toilets and that thousands of residents seemed to have fled," the New York Times reports.

A sign of things to come, then, as China’s clean water supplies succumb to industrial pollution: this week China covered-up the fact – then quietly admitted – that a benzene factory had contaminated the Songhua River – which just happens to be the only source of drinking water for the city of Harbin.

Or not the only source: there is also the newest river in China, a de-terrestrialized landscape of plastic bottles trucked in from elsewhere, hydrology under military escort.

So what is the lesson of Harbin? When a river becomes too polluted, we will simply replace it with bottled water. (Until there is nothing left to bottle).

It’s the new landscape of militarized world resources.

More on China's industrial pollution : http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/01/cancer-villages.html

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