7 Mar 2014

Pollution or development?

Source: Water pollution in India
CK writes:*

Water is essential to humans and other lifeforms, no one can live without water, everyone has a responsibility to protect water resources. However, regardless of the cost of production is the choice of some industries. Behind such high production and great profit, lies a world that those inside the industry do not want you to see and definitely don’t want you to talk about that is slowly destroying our beautiful waterway. This phenomenon occurred in China as well, and it getting worse. For too long, reckless industrial pollution has occurred in the shadows.

As the news say, their investigation revealed a industry zone releasing PH14 water and a cocktail of hazardous chemical straight into the local water supply. And as we all know this is just the tip of the iceberg. illegal dumping is the main part of water pollution. we need to control this pollution. High pace of development should not cost the earth. In my point of view. There are 2 main methods to control water pollution, first one is technology development, more and more high efficiency waste-water treatment plant build up. Using chemical way to diluted polluted water and let those water come back into clean. Next one is increasing government regulation. There must be a law made by the government which ensure that industries can’t dumped polluted water, and if somebody still dumped it, he should take highly cost of what he did like go to prison and shut down his company.

Bottom Line: Rapid economic growth should not cost the earth, we should not just focus on those “number” up or down, thinking about the harmful effects of pollution. With the help of technology and government regulation, i think clean water still in supply.

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.


Anonymous said...

There are a few grammatical issues with your post such as missed capitalization and incomplete sentences: "in my point of view." What you should have said in that instance is "In my opinion ..."

Having said that, these were not really issues for me personally as I understood what you were trying to say.

In terms of the content of the post, I agree with your assessment of Technological innovations and government intervention as potential solutions to water pollution; however, I would add that a combination of the two could also be a solution. I remember I learned in environmental economics (econ 270) that a tax per "unit" of pollution could provide incentive for firms to transition to alternative methods of production that would produce less negative externalities (pollution). However, transitioning to new technology is costly to firms so the pollution tax would have to be high enough so that the new technology would be more profitable than the current. I guess a carbon tax/fee is a good example of this.

Student #0298

Anonymous said...

Student ID: 5672

How to deal with industrial wastewater is always a big problem for developing country. Industrial wastewater discharge is the major source of water pollution in China, and the water environment has burdened heavily in the process of industrialization. Improving the industrial wastewater treatment regulation and system is important, but a better way is to make preventing pollution and environmental protection into people’s mind. Usually, Factories do not count the emission into their account. They release wastewater into rivers or urban drainage systems. In this case, factories should put the wastewater treatment and disposal combine with the production process or pay the cost according to the amount of wastewater they dumped.

It will be great if you have some information about the attitude of the government and society changes in the past years.

Student #0155 said...

There are some grammatical issues with this post. For instance, you said, "Using chemical way to diluted polluted water and let those water come back into clean." This sentence is extremely hard to follow due to the grammatical errors. It is not clear what is being said here.

Aside from the English, this post does point out an important issue: industry often creates a negative externality for the rest of the public when they use water. Certainly one way of controlling this is regulating the industrial water users like you suggest. Perhaps another suggestion would be to implement some sort of tax mechanism so that any water that they pollute and dump back into the environment costs them. This could be done using some sort of Pigovian tax on water pollution.

Student #0155

Anonymous said...

you mentioned technology is one method to decrease pollution, I think tax is the most efficient way to achieve the goal, tax would create incentive for companies to innovate, to decrease pollution when unit tax applied on pollution, in this case, both companies and social are better off. About the regulation, it is difficult to implement policies when corruption exists, so my suggestion would be increase transparency in investigation and all other procedures of regulations. I think corruption is an significant reason why developing countries facing large pollution while they are regulating.
Student #2913

erik ,yiu said...

Both China and India are developing countries, and neither has strong policies to protect the environment and prevent industries from polluting the water and land. Indeed, both governments must develop policies to regulate their industries. However, I don’t really think the writer's second method will actually work; these countries' citizens have had poor moral educations. For example, in China, many small industries pollute the water with impunity. Even if the government shut down some of them, more will arise to take their places tomorrow. So, the first thing to do is improve the moral education for both countries, then develop more environmental protection policies.

Oona Houlihan said...

The easiest to curb water pollution is to not allow it. This forces industry to use closed-loop water management which means they can only use what they have cleaned beforehand. This in turn encourages manufacturing processes that will cause less waste etc. and in the end will often offset some of the cost incurred. The rest the consumer must bear. However: he/she would have higher damages to suffer from unbridled effluents.

Anonymous said...

Thanks #0298 student points out a new solution of water pollution.
you are right,a tax per "unit" of pollution could provide incentive for firms to transition to alternative methods of production that would produce less negative externalities.
however, it's not a easy way to process.

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