We don't want to beat a dying river, here, but how is it that China's natural waters end up looking like Gatorade? Taken on March 22nd, this photo of industrial waste from a textile dyeing factory draining into the Yangtze is a partial answer. The textile dye, paper, fertilizer, chemical, and metal processing industries are major sources of point pollution in China's rivers. And all that industrial crap is joined by the real deal. The Yellow River, China's longest after the Yangtze, brings water to more than 155 million Chinese. It was recently reported that in the past year, some 120 million tons of household sewage - the vast majority of it untreated - have been released into the river by just one city along its waters. Ma Jun, champion of Chinese waterways and one of our favorite eco-heroes, said that wastewater now accounts for a tenth of the Yellow River's total volume. No wonder a third of the Yellow River's fish species are now extinct. Though it's hard to see beyond these troubled waters - they're far from clear, after all - government is aware of and attempting to address problems. And growing citizen awareness and activism, at least in theory, are being encouraged like never before. Photo courtesy of Reuters.
See also ::Chinese Water: A Picture is Worth..., ::::Isn't It Ironic? China Calls For Citizen Activism, Detains Environmentalist, ::Restocking the Polluted Yangtze: Fishy?, ::China Wakes Up Thirsty and Worried, ::Dark Cloud Over China's Water