The latest report on conservation and development of the river Yangtze has found that water pollution along China's longest river is increasing. In fact, large parts of the river have been irreversibly polluted, the report notes.
The 270-page Yangtze Conservation and Development Report, jointly issued by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Yangtze Forum Secretariat, is the first comprehensive study of the health of the Yangtze. It found that 600 km of the river is in a "critical condition" and nearly 30 per cent of its major tributaries are "seriously polluted". The water reservoir of the Three Georges Dam--the world's largest hydropower plant--has also become seriously polluted due to excessive levels of nitrogen and phosphorous from pesticides and fertilisers.
The report says that unless this pollution is reversed immediately, the future ecological and social development of the river could be at risk.
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