The Boston Globe quotes today a chinese newspaper stating that the Yangtse is irreversible polluted
China: Yangtze is irreversibly polluted
April 15, 2007
BEIJING –China’s massive Yangtze river, a lifeline for tens of millions of people, is seriously polluted and the damage is almost irreversible, a state-run newspaper said Monday. More than 370 miles of the river are in critical condition and almost 30 percent of its major tributaries are seriously polluted, the China Daily said, citing a report by the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The pollution, along with damming and heavy use of boats, has caused a sharp decline in aquatic life along the Yangtze.
The report said the annual harvest of aquatic products from the river has dropped from 427,000 tons in the 1950s to about 100,000 tons in the 1990s.
“The impact of human activities on the Yangtze water ecology is largely irreversible,” Yang Guishan, a researcher at the institute, was quoted as saying.
China’s communist government faces a challenge in much of the country to deal with worsening pollution caused by rapid economic growth and the failure of factories, sewage systems and other sources to follow environmental regulations.
The Yangtze accounts for 35 percent of China’s total fresh water resources, the report said.
It also showed that the huge reservoir created by the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest hydropower project, was seriously polluted by pesticides, fertilizers and sewage from passenger boats.
The Yangtze is about 3,860 miles long and runs from the Tibetan plateau to the sea near Shanghai, passing through some of China’s major cities, such as Chongqing and Nanjing.