Gansu eyes cleaner rivers

By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-14 06:54

XI'AN: Northwest China's Gansu Province recently unveiled a water management plan to ease shortages in the province and curb pollution.

The plan covers 116 rivers that run through the province. It divides the rivers into 294 water functioning zones and aims to control the amount of sewage dumped at the mouth of each river, according to Zhang Qian, deputy director of water resources of the Gansu water administration bureau.

Municipal and county governments in the province are also urged to make plans to decrease and enhance the management of sewage disposal, Zhang was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying.

Due to Gansu's location at the upper reaches of many rivers, the plan is expected to improve the quality of the rivers and check rampant pollution.

Gansu's water quality has increasingly deteriorated in the last few years due to household garbage from an expanding population, and uncontrolled industrial waste.

More than 200 sewage outlets along the Yellow River's Lanzhou sector dump more than 160 million tons of industrial waste and urban garbage into the river annually.

A two-year campaign to rein in industrial discharge has paid off to some extent, but household garbage still poses a severe threat to the river, according to Lu Zhaowen, director of pollution control of the environment protection bureau of Lanzhou. The city is the capital of Gansu province.

The pollution has severely affected farmers in the area.

"The river passes by my village, but we cannot use it for drinking or for irrigation because it is seriously polluted," said Wang Zhiming, a farmer of Minle Village in Baiyin city, which is located along the lower reaches of the river.

Zhu Xizhao, director of planning of the province's water administration bureau, said: "The water zoning plan is one important measure to control pollution and better protect our resources."

(China Daily 06/14/2007 page5)

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