A clogged river

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

GARBAGE and oil have choked up the source of Huangpu River in south China. This is bad news for Shanghai, which draws about 80 per cent of its drinking water from the Huangpu. According to state officials, the river water is unsuitable for human consumption. The greatest source of contamination is waste urban household water, only 15 per cent of which is treated before being dumped into the river. Last year, Shanghai produced 1.17 billion tonnes of waste human water, outstripping the 850 million tonnes produced by industry. Huangpu is also polluted by floating rubbish such as plastic bags and diesel from boats.

A newspaper recently reported that a chemical dump in Shanghai's northern suburbs has already killed around 1,000 kg of river fish.

According to a United Nations study, Shanghai is seriously short of potable water, although its water resources overall appear to be plentiful as compared to other cities.

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