Shanxi enhances Yellow River basin environment


Updated: 2023-04-18


An aerial view of Yellow River in Wanrong county, Shanxi province [Photo/Yuncheng Daily] 

Shanxi province, where 965 kilometers of the main stream of the Yellow River flows, has improved the ecological environment in the river basin after years of efforts to protect and manage the river.

Li Jie, director of the comprehensive division of the Shanxi Department of Ecology and Environment, said that Shanxi has controlled surface water pollution, investigated and rectified sewage outlets into the Yellow River in 2020, 2021 and 2022 as well as strengthened the control of water pollutants entering the river. 

The department has constructed artificial undercurrent wetlands for the tailwater of urban domestic sewage treatment plants in the Yellow River basin in Shanxi. So far, 40 artificial undercurrent wetlands covering 1,683 hectares have been built, bringing the concentration of three major water pollutants up to Class III in China's surface water quality evaluation system. 

In 2022, eight sections of the main stream of the Yellow River in Shanxi under national examination reached excellent in the water quality evaluation, of which 87.5 percent reached the level of Class II in China's surface water quality evaluation system – an increase of 12.5 percentage points year-on-year. 

While controlling pollution in the river basin, Shanxi has also furthered ecological protection and restoration in the area. 

The province has promoted the coordinated ecological treatment of mountains, forests, farmland, lakes, grasslands and sandy areas. By the end of 2022, the water and soil conservation rate in the province increased 1 percentage point year-on-year to 63 percent. More than 3,333 square kilometers of areas were afforested annually in 2021 and 2022, turning the once ecologically-fragile basin into a green barrier against sandstorms.

Three counties and districts in the basin in the province were rated as national demonstration zones for ecological civilization construction – China's environmental strategy for sustainable development, and one county was named as a practice and innovation base for the "Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" development philosophy last year.

The average proportion of days with good air quality in 86 counties, county-level cities and districts in the Yellow River basin reached 77.9 percent in the past year. 

Nowadays, on the banks of the Yellow River, harmonious coexistence between man and nature is becoming the norm, and tourism along the river is increasingly popular. The overall improvement of the ecological environment of the river basin has brought real happiness to locals.