Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects to economic, environmental and societal issues. Our student Jeffrey Frelier makes this connection in Guangzhou, China. This current event was reported in Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University, on June 17, 2011, under the title Water and Informality in Guangzhou by Britta Bockhorn. This is likely real news based off this article describing the Pearl River in similar condition as what was described in the main article.

This news about over population and its impacts on water relates to water resources engineering, in the specific areas of water quality and urban development. The article specifically addresses urban villages which are previously rural areas that have recently become part of the city Guangzhou with the increase in its area. The article also mentions the deteriorating water quality of the Pearl River adjacent to Guangzhou noting that its surface water is a grade V, the worst Chinese water quality standard. It also addresses the fact that pollution entering the river comes from agriculture, domestic sewage, and rubbish. One aspect I wish the writer had gone into more depth with was what can be done to fix the problem and how it got as bad as it is. Is the issue a lack of regulations, lack of enforcement, lack of technologies or some combination of all three?

Economic, environmental and societal issues are all relevant to the issue of population increase and water pollution. Increasing populations have an environmental impact because as populations increase they require more resources and put additional stress on the environment. Water pollution can also cause economic issues as there is a monetary cost to remediate damaged water systems. The environment can also suffer as a result of water damage because it can cause harm to ecosystems. Economic and societal issues are addressed under the section labeled Informal Processes as it addresses the how the urban villagers have given up farming and found other means of living. Environmental issues are the focus of the section labeled urban water resources where it describes the cause and extent of pollution of both surface and ground water near Guangzhou; including untreated sewage (see figure 1) . It is well known in the scientific world that population growth can cause environmental problems. One article also illustrates this well. The general idea of the cause and effect relationship between over population and water quality is that as populations grow they require more resources, those resources turn to waste and that waste turns to pollution.

Figure 1 Raw Sewage being dumped directly into river

Figure 1 Raw Sewage being dumped directly into river


Bockhorn BB. Water and Informality in Guangzhou. Water and Megacities. http://www.waterandmegacities.org/water-and-informality-in-guangzhou/. Accessed February 10, 2017.