Colourful screens : Water imaginaries in documentaries from China and Taiwan

Enoch Yee Lok TAM*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


The remarkable growth of both China’s population and economy over the past several decades has come at a tremendous cost to the country’s environment. Desertification in the north-west, pollution in rural areas from chemical plants that have been moved farther away from cities, and various forms of pollution in major urban areas such as Beijing and Shanghai are only small parts of the picture. Indeed, the major environmental threat in China continues to be the supply of water. In ‘China and water’, Peter H. Gleick notes that China’s available water supply per capita from 2003 to 2007 was 2138m3 per year, which is approximately one-fifth of the US average water supply while ‘[i]n 2006, nearly half of China’s major cities did not meet drinking-water quality standards, and a third of surface-water samples taken were considered severely polluted’ (2009: 83). The World Bank, on the other hand, projects that in 2030, China’s annual per capita water supply will decrease to 1750m3(2006: 5). These two figures are sufficient to illustrate the dire situation of mainland China’s water supply.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransnational Ecocinema : Film Culture in an Era of Ecological Transformation
EditorsPietari Kääpä, Tommy Gustafsson
PublisherIntellect Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781783201280
ISBN (Print)9781841507293
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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