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Yangtze River Pollution Concerns

By Mo Ting (Global Times)

14:04, November 14, 2011

Photo: hb.xinhuanet.com

Yangtze River protection authorities have reassured the public that the 33.9 billion tons of industrial waste poured annually into the Yangtze River would not degrade the quality of drinking water.

Zang Xiaoping, the deputy director of Yangtze Valley Water Resources Protection Bureau, said Saturday that the water quality of the Yangtze River was generally better than other rivers in China, and 86 percent of the Yangtze River region met standards set for drinking water, the Wuhan Evening News reported Sunday.

According to Zang, compared to the 1 trillion tons of water the Yangtze River pours into the sea annually, about 30 billion tons of wastewater was only a small portion and would not heavily affect water quality.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told the Global Times Sunday that pollution in the Yangtze River still poses a threat to human health despite the relatively small portion of wastewater.

"The main stream of the Yangtze River has a higher quality than that of other rivers in China due to its massive flow," Ma said, "but the water quality of branches of and lakes connected to the Yangtze River might easily be polluted."

"The self-purification capacity of branches and lakes is weaker than that of the main stream," Ma said, "the water flow of branches is smaller, and lake water is almost still. If we ignore the protection of the branches and lakes of the Yangtze River, drinking water from them will also threaten our health."

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