采访/张天宇 编辑/许旻 后制/陈建铭
Why Are Half of the Rivers Disappearing in China?
The first national water census was conducted
by the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources.
It show that rivers in China are disappearing
at the alarming rate of 1,000 per year.
Half of the rivers with catchment areas
over 100 square kilometers have gone.
Environmentalists blame over-exploitation of natural
resources, as well as unsustainable development policies.
These policies come from the Chinese regime, and are the
main causes for rivers disappearing and water shortages.
Increasingly environmental problems
pose threat to Chinese society.
The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources’
has conducted it’s first national water census.
It revealed that there are 22,909 rivers with
catchment areas over 100 square kilometers.
This is in comparison to 30 years ago, when
there were more than 50,000 rivers of that size.
Where have the 27,000 rivers gone? This issue
has immediately drawn international attention.
Beijing’s environmental protection officials admitted
that the main reason for the decreasing number of
rivers is the excessive development of the rivers.
This includes over-usage of groundwater reserves, the
destruction of the environment, and desertification of forests.
Fan Xiao, water expert and chief engineer of Sichuan
Bureau of Geology and Mineral, commented.
Fan believes China’s river issue reflects
the larger scale damage to the environment.
If this continues, the damage will become
irreversible, and organisms will become extinct.
The consequences are frightening.
Fan Xiao, chief engineer of Sichuan
Geology and Mineral Bureau:
“With the expansion of cities, construction of businesses
and industrial parks took place on landfills over rivers.
Also, the majority of water conservancy development
is derived from intercepting rivers ,and diverting water.
These constructions either cut off
the river flow or simply kill the river.”
The United Nations has listed China as one of
the 13 countries most affected by water scarcity.
Water has become a huge livelihood issue.
Chinese official data shows that effluent discharge
has led to 40% of rivers being seriously polluted.
20% of the rivers have water
quality which is totally unusable.
The Times reported, “environmental experts say that
the disappearance of the rivers is a real and a direct
manifestation of headlong, ill-conceived development.
This is where projects are often imposed
or approved without public consultation.”
It also said that, “large hydroelectric projects such as the
Three Gorges Dam… were likely to have played a role.”
Fan Xiao believes the Communist regime’s policies
for quick success and a nature of blindly pursuing
interests have over-exploited the rivers.
They are the main culprits for rivers vanishing,
and for environmental deterioration.
Fan Xiao: “Current developments in
China are an unsustainable model.
This is at the cost of excessive
consumption of natural resources.
It destructs nature, and causes great pain to the
people. The government is responsible for it.”
More than 10 years ago, experts have warned
about the crisis China’s rivers were facing.
The pollution of some rivers nearing
disappearance is also shocking.
Recently, more than 16,000 dead pigs
were discovered in Huangpu River.
In addition, thousands of dead
ducks were found in Sichuan river.
This has triggered public discontent
over the threat to water quality.
On March 23, Shanghai residents protested
over the ineffective handling of the dead pigs incident by the authorities.
Protestors walked along the river.
The new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
pledged more transparent pollution policies.
It is believed that the pollution issue has
become an issue of unrest for the authorities.
Fan Xiao: “For at least ten years,
pollution has been a social issue.
Many protests are because of pollution.
It is happening everyday and
getting more and more serious.”
The Times commentary has indicated that
the pollution has replaced the land grabbing
issue, and has angered the most Chinese.
It stated, “The disappearance of rivers poses
both an environmental and social threat to China.”