THE water quality in Shenzhen's polluted, stinky and blackened rivers has been greatly improved thanks to effective water treatment measures, including the introduction of river chief rules.
Statistics from the Shenzhen Municipal Water Resources Bureau showed water treatment projects on 45 sections of 36 rivers in the city had been completed by the end of 2017, eliminating 2,780 drains that discharged untreated polluted water into the rivers.
The amount of major pollutants in the water has been significantly reduced.
On May 27, Shenzhen unveiled the river chief action plan and released the list of officials responsible for the city's 148 rivers.
Under the rule, 754 officials at municipal, district, subdistrict and community levels are responsible for rivers, including principal rivers and their tributaries that have drainage areas larger than 10 square kilometers, independent rivers that flow into the sea and have areas larger than 10 square kilometers and 133 blackened and stinky rivers.
Wang Weizhong, Shenzhen's Party chief, and Mayor Chen Rugui are the chiefs responsible for the treatment of the Maozhou River, one of the most seriously polluted rivers in Guangdong, and the Shenzhen River.
The district and subdistrict officials will be responsible for the rivers and their tributaries within their administrative areas. The river chiefs will be commissioned with six tasks in coordinating and supervising water resources protection, water safety, water pollution prevention and treatment, water environment restoration, water coastline administration and law enforcement.
Last year, the city completed 96 water treatment projects at a total investment of 6.53 billion yuan (US$1.01 billion).
The water resources bureau completed sludge-clearing work on 28 polluted river sections and built 30 sewage plants, handling 745,000 tons of sewage a day. In 2017, the city completed 2009 kilometers of sewage pipelines and renovated drainage pipelines at 1,464 housing estates.
Guangdong has established a five-level river chief mechanism by appointing river chiefs at provincial, municipal, county, township and village levels. The Guangdong CPC committee and Guangdong government recently decided to appoint Li Xi, Guangdong's Party chief, and Ma Xingrui, governor of Guangdong, as the top river chiefs in the province. A total of 33,000 officials at different levels have been assigned responsibility over certain rivers.
Shenzhen will ensure that by 2018 the water quality of the Shenzhen River, Longgang River, Guanlan River and Pingshan River will have been improved to Category V. By 2020, the water quality of the Maozhou River will also reach Category V, and all 133 stinky and blackened rivers will have undergone complete treatment.