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Four-fifths of Yellow River polluted
Updated: 2005-05-24 23:58

Nearly four-fifths of Yellow River are polluted, China News Service reported Tuesday sources with the Yellow River Conservancy Committee as saying.

According to a water quality monitoring initiated in 1975, water quality of tributary better than the 3rd category, which is qualified for drinking water, breeding aquatics, fishery and swimming, accounted for 60 percent of the total length of the Yellow River in 1980s. By the end of 1990s, the percentage lowered to 40 percent. This March, a government report said as much as 72.3 percent of the water in the Yellow River has dropped below the 3rd category.

It is estimated that the economic loss caused by pollution of Yellow River annually totaled about 11.5 billion to 15.6 billion yuan (about 1.39 billion to 1.89 billion US dollars). Since 1993, the Yellow River has witnessed more than 40 pollution incidents.Experts indicated that the rapid increase of the sewage, the unqualified discharge of waste water and the misuse of fertilizer all worsened the situation of the water body. In addition, such factors as the degeneration of the water, the decrease of precipitation and dilution of the water body also led to the degradation of the water quality. The 5,464-kilometer Yellow River runs through nine provinces and autonomous regions and enters the Bohai Sea in north China, forming a valley of 752,000 square kilometers and watering 12 percent of China's 1.3 billion population and 15 percent of farmland.However, excessive development has resulted in serious shortage of water resources. The water resources development and utilization rate along the Yellow River valley is as high as 70 percent, much higher than the internationally recognized warning level of 40 percent.

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