Remediation of drinking water sources is listed among the priorities in China's water pollution control for 2018, Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie said at a two-day national environmental protection work conference that concluded over the weekend.
The remediation has made headway in the past five years, with a total of 490 related issues discovered in cities along the Yangtze River Economic Belt settled, according to the minister.
By the end of 2017, 97.7 percent of cities at the prefecture level and above had set up signs and notices to bring attention to drinking water sources, Li said.
Li said that China will work to ensure that over 80 percent of the country's water meets at least the Level III standard by 2020.
To achieve the goal, the Ministry of Environmental Protection will launch supervision of severely-polluted regions, focusing on the treatment of "black odorous water" and drinking water sources.
The ministry will push "black odorous water" remediation in 36 major cities and the Yangtze River Economic Belt this year and improve environmental infrastructure, Li said.
China classifies water quality into six levels, ranging from level I, which is suitable for drinking after minimal treatment, to level VI for water that is severely contaminated.
The government has passed its toughest-ever environmental protection law, and introduced a "river chief" system to protect water resources. Ecological "red lines" will also be drawn in certain regions to strengthen environmental protection, according to earlier planning.