The Yangtze River Water Resources Committee on Wednesday released a
communique on the status of the water resources of the Yangtze,
China's longest river.
The Yangtze River valley covers an area of 1.8 million sq. km
spanning 19 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions,
including Qinghai, Tibet, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou,
Gansu, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Henan, Guangxi, Guangdong,
Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian.
According to the communique, the regions along the Yangtze's
drainage area enjoy much more abundant water resources than the
arid northern provinces.
Although the Yangtze's drainage area suffered a severe drought in
2001, the river's water volume still remains at 889.2 billion cubic
meters, nearly equal to that of previous years.
Owing to social and economic development as well as population
increases, however, the per-capita water volume of the Yangtze
River drainage area has been on decline. In 2001, this figure
dropped to about 2,100 cubic meters, merely one quarter of the
Moreover, due to the uneven distribution and severe pollution, some
areas within the Yangtze's drainage area have suffered water
shortages which have severely affected the local social and
economic sustainable development.
According to the latest statistics released by the Yangtze River
Water Resources Committee, to date, a total of 59 cities along the
Yangtze have water shortage problems. Twenty-six of them are
suffering severe water shortages.
The water pollution situation of the Yangtze has improved, the
communique noted, but the problem has yet to be completely
2001 alone, more than 2.2 billion tons of industrial pollutant
water and urban waste water were dumped into the Yangtze River,
four times as two decades ago.
(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2002)