Shanxi sees more lucid waters, lush mountains


Updated: 2022-08-15


Green covers Yangqu Mountain in Yangqu county, Shanxi province. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

Shanxi province in North China has been committed to protecting its water and mountains by giving priority to ecological management in its development. 

The province has adhered to the systematic management of mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, grasslands and sandy areas, promoted the ecological restoration of two mountains, seven rivers and the Yellow River basin, and implemented afforestation projects. 

By the end of 2020, the forest coverage rate in Shanxi had reached 23.57 percent and the comprehensive grassland vegetation coverage was 73 percent, which was higher than the national average. 


Cycling enthusiasts ride on a bicycle path along the Fenhe River in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

Shanxi has also furthered water resource protection, water pollution prevention and control, and water environment improvement.

The province has designated 50 centralized drinking water source protection areas, started construction on 636 rural domestic sewage treatment facilities, and completed the treatment of 45 rural black and odorous water bodies.

In 2021, 72.3 percent of surface water sections in the province had excellent water quality, a year-on-year increase of 2.1 percentage points. In the first half of 2022, 52.4 percent of the sections of the Fenhe River basin under national-level inspection were upgraded to Grade III and above, a high level in the nation's five-tier quality system for surface water.


A picturesque view of the Qingzhang River National Wetland Park in Zuoquan county, Shanxi province [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

In addition, the province has taken a series of measures to improve air quality and bring back blue skies.

Twenty-two iron and steel complexes, 14 coking enterprises and 10 cement enterprises have completed ultra-low emission transformation, and 26,900 diesel trucks failing to meet national emissions standards have been eliminated. 


Swan geese forage for food at Salt Lake in Yuncheng, Shanxi province. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]

The reduction of summer ozone concentration and air pollution control in autumn and winter were implemented to reduce heavily polluted weather. 

In 2021, the average annual concentration of PM2.5 – inhalable particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller and are harmful to one's health – dropped to 39 micrograms per cubic meter, a year-on-year decrease of 15.2 percent. The proportion of days with good air quality was 72.1 percent, up 1.1 percentage points year-on-year, while the proportion of heavily polluted days dropped to 0.5 percent.