"The government responded last year with release of some data. This year it released the information proactively, and that's progress," Ma said. "When the public is informed, it will push for cleanup."
"It's a direct result of pollution in surface water," said Ma Jun, founder of the non-governmental Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing. "Basically the degree of pollution for surface water is directly correlated to that for shallow ground water, while activities such as mining, oil drilling and landfills have caused pollution in deep ground water."