The colorful waters of China

Alia | February 20th, 2013 - 5:29 am

When many in China are still choking by the country’s polluted air, water pollution, a more serious and deadly problem, has already taken the center stage. Heated discussions on the country’s water problems, especially underground water pollution, have been making waves on both official media and China’s always-active social media.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Tencent News recently put together a picture essay of the colorful waters of China. So…let the images talk.

Febury 24, 2011, a kid was playing at the polluted section of the Wujiang River that ran through Wujiang town, Guizhou province. This section has been so heavily polluted that nothing except for algae can live in the water. Source: Qianzhong Morning Post.

December 10, 2012, a plastic model sat at the sewage outfall into the Qiantang River from Xiaoshan Industrial Park in the province of Zhejiang. This is the “mother river” of Zhejiang. Back in October 14 of the same year, report by an environmental group showed that two textile and dyeing industrial areas in Shaoxing and Hangzhou have been dumping toxic waste water into the Qiantang River for a very long time. Photo by Xiao Tong.

August 22, 2009, at the Nanpan River in Qujing, Yunan province, the headwaters of the Zhu River. The river has been heavily polluted and fish died in huge numbers. Photo by Fang Qianhua.

December 13, 2011, the Jian River in Luoyang, Henan province, turned bloodily red, flowing through the city into the Luo River. The next day, Luoyang Environment Bureau tracked down two illegal workshops that discharged sewage directly into rain gutters. The two workshops were shut down immediately.

March 22, 2011, at the Nei River in Fuzhou, Fujian province. The Nei River runs through more than 100 riverways in Fuzhou, which, if added together, extend about 244 kilometers. Almost every elderly in Zhuzhou has some beautiful memories of the Nei River. However, as China’s society changes and economy booms, the once clean and clear Nei River turns thick and stinky. The once wide riverway shrinks. Those who live along the river now have to have their windows closed all the time. The Nei River has now become Fuzhou’s scar.

June 23, 2010, a river pool under a bridge in the city of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. Local resident Zhang brushed away water fern with a broom for a bath. Photo by Zhang Zhiping.

February 27, 2012, a couple was taking wedding photos in front of waters covered by red duckweed. It was within the Dragon Palace in Anshun, Guizhou province, an AAAAA-grade (highest) tourism destination in China.

July 6, 2012, at the Little Three Gorges in the town of Wushan, Chongqing. Large amount of garbage brought in by waves were flowing on the river. Boats had to be extra careful. Floating-waste cleaners were busy working. Photo by Liang Zhangyi.

September 26, 2012, white foam bubbled up river in Xintang town, Guangdong province. After investigation, Xintang Environment Bureau said that the foam were from deodorant used in landfills, and that the foam cost no harm to human bodies if not taken in large quantities. Photo by Li Zhanjun.

October 8, 2012, the “milky river” in Aodi village under the city of Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. The quarry in the village discharged their rinse solution for cutting stones directly into the river. Villagers can no longer use water from the river for daily uses. Photo by Rui Chang.

December 17, 2010, a village in the city of Chaohu, Anhui province. Two mines in the nearby mountains turned two local pools into two pools of “soy sauce.” Photo by Li Yuanbo.

June 7, 2010, unprocessed sewage was dumped into the Changjiang River from Hongshan under the city of Wuhan. Large amount of garbage flew into the Changjiang River together with the smelly waste water. Millions of local residents have been discharging their everyday sewage into the Changjiang River for more than 10 years. Photo by Liu Fang.


February 17, 2009, the heavily polluted Jing River in Guangzhou province. Local sanitation workers were doing their job on the black, smelly river. Photo by Fang Qianhua.

January 13, 2013, the foaming Tonghui River in Beijing and the city’s central business district buildings in the background. Photo by Mai Tian. 


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8 Responses to “The colorful waters of China”

  1. [...] 騰訊(テンセント)ニュースは先日、「中国のカラフルな河川」の数々の写真をネット上に掲載し、オフビートチャイナがその写真の説明文を翻訳した。 (訳注:騰訊=テンセントは中国の大手インターネットサービス) 校正:Takuya Oshige Tweet [...]

  2. [...] in China Offbeat China: The colorful waters of China Danwei: The groundwater of 90% of Chinese cities is polluted (60% severely). Wall Street Journal: [...]

  3. [...] put together a photo story about the “colorful waters of China“, Offbeat China has translated the captions of the pictures. [...]

  4. China Newz says:

    The price of rapid growth and lack of oversight. Wonder how these types of incidents will pan out 20 years down the road? There may be lawsuits or a lot of people with serious illnesses and no form of reparation.

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