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Yangtze's Major Tributary Becomes Cleaner
Hanjiang River, one of the major tributaries of China's longest river, the Yangtze, is set to reclaim its original title as one of the country's cleanest rivers, according to the latest information.

Originating in the southern part of Shaanxi Province, northwest China, the 1,577-km Hanjiang River, the Yangtze's longest tributary, flows through Shaanxi and Hubei provinces and joins the Yangtze at Wuhan, capital city of Hubei.

Data provided by Hubei shows that water quality in the river has improved markedly compared with last year and most parts of the river are up to good quality water standards. At present, more than 2,400 enterprises in the river valley have met the requirements for discharging pollutants.

Danjiangkou Reservoir on the upper reaches of the river has been chosen as a starting point for China's planned south-to-north water diversion project.

Local governments along the Hanjiang River attach great importance to improving water quality in the river and its environment.

An 84-km section of the river in Xunyang County, in Shaanxi, was once its most polluted part. Today, this section is again flowing cleanly thanks to the efforts of the county government.

Wang Changxiao, director of the county bureau for environmental protection, said that the county government had closed all ore-dressing plants along the river, and drafted local regulations to protect water resources.

Wang said that the county also closed four profitable Chinese herbal medicine manufacturing plants because they discharged pigments into the river.

At the same time, Hubei is also intensifying efforts to protect the Hanjiang River. The province plans to allocate more than 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) for pollution control along the river in addition to three new sewage treatment plants being constructed in the river valley.

The province will also step up monitoring water quality in Hanjiang to prevent new sources of pollution.

(ChinaEnvironment.com June 27, 2002)

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