April 16, 2007 in Nation/World

Reports: Chinese river’s pollution ‘largely irreversible’

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

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 today.

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.


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