River clean-up focus of 45b yuan project
By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-24 05:44
XI'AN: Northwest China's Shaanxi Province is planning to spend 45 billion
yuan (US$5.56 billion) on environmental protection, with much of the money
earmarked for cleaning up the Weihe River.
The scheme has been set out in the Shaanxi Provincial Environmental
Protection Bureau's draft 2006-10 development plan.
Industrial renovation, air and water pollution control and research into
green technologies are just some of the areas tackled by eight key projects set
to run over the next five years, said Li Xingmin, deputy director of the bureau,
in an interview with China Daily on Tuesday.
But the major task between 2006 and 2010 will be cleaning-up the Weihe River,
"One-tenth of the total investment for provincial environment protection
projects in the coming five years will go on the Weihe protection project," said
Zhang Jindong, an official with the Planning and Investment Department of the
Every year, some 80,000 tons of sewage are pumped into the Weihe, the biggest
branch of the Yellow River.
That sewage has become one of biggest sources of pollution in the Yellow
River, China's second largest river, Zhang said.
Environmental protection experts estimate that sewage from the Weihe accounts
for 18 per cent of all pollution in the Yellow River.
Cleaning up the Weihe is a great step towards guaranteeing water quality in
the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, they added.
The Weihe itself is more than 800 kilometres long, starting in Gansu
Province's Weiyuan County.
The river's basin is home to 64 per cent of Shaanxi's population and 72 per
cent of the province's irrigated farmland, according to Si Quanyin, chief
engineer of the provincial environmental protection Bureau.
"The river is also the only sewage drainage channel in central Shaanxi,
receiving 80 per cent of the province's industrial and domestic sewage," Si
In August, the provincial government put in place strict measures to control
pollution in the river, aiming to clean up the waterway within five or six
Steps taken included closing small paper factories and building more sewage
treatment factories as well as strictly controlling water resource development
and use, Si said.
Shaanxi's efforts to better protect its water resources are part of the
central government's environment protection plans for the 2006-10 period.
According to Si, experts reckon pollution in the Yellow River should be
solved in the next five years.
(China Daily 11/24/2005 page3)