Rivers of the World, largest and most polluted bodies of water






GEOGRAPHY - The Yangtze River, Chinese (Pinyin) Chang Jiang or (Wade-Giles romanization) Ch’ang Chiang , longest river in both China and Asia and the third longest river in the world, with a length of 3,915 miles (6,300 kilometres). Its basin, extending for some 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from west to east and for more than 600 miles (1,000 km) from north to south, drains an area of 698,265 square miles (1,808,500 square km). From its source on the Plateau of Tibet to its mouth on the East China Sea, the river traverses or serves as the border between 10 provinces or regions. More than three-fourths of the river’s course runs through mountains. The Yangtze has eight principal tributaries. On its left bank, from source to mouth, these are the Yalung, Min, Jialing, and Han rivers; those on the right bank include the Wu, Yuan, Xiang, and Gan rivers. 



The Yangtze River known in China as the Cháng Jiāng ("Long River") or the Yángzi Jiāng, is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. It flows for 6,300 kilometers (3,915 mi) from the glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. The river is the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It drains one-fifth of the land area of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and its river basin is home to one-third of the country's population. The Yangtze is also one of the biggest rivers by discharge volume in the world.


The Yangtze River Delta generates as much as 20% of the PRC's GDP. The Yangtze River flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is itself habitat to several endemic and endangered species including the Chinese alligator, the finless porpoise, the Chinese paddlefish, the (possibly extinct) Yangtze River dolphin or baiji, and the Yangtze sturgeon. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world.

In recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, agricultural run-off, siltation, and loss of wetland and lakes, which exacerbates seasonal flooding. Some sections of the river are now protected as nature reserves. A stretch of the Yangtze flowing through deep gorges in western Yunnan is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In mid-2014 the Chinese government announced it was building a multi-tier transport network, comprising railways, roads and airports, to create a new economic belt alongside the river.







The Yangtze River Basin is a big granary of China. The grain it produces covers a half of the whole nation, of which the rice accounts for 70% in the total. Other crops such as cotton, barley, wheat, maize and bean are also produced in the area. Besides, it is the most prosperous and densely populated area in the country. The important cities with a population of over one million such as Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing and Chengdu are located in the area. Same as the Yellow River, Yangtze River is also the cradle of Chinese civilization. It is endowed with long history and abundant cultural relics.







Rivaling the impact of the Three Gorges Dam, this basin faces unprecedented pollution as a result of rapid, large-scale industrial and domestic development, and agricultural runoff. According to Chinese environmental activist Dai Qing, the Yangtze used to be so clear that you could see a pen sink to the bottom. Now it has become so dirty that it is not fit for drinking.

Over the last 50 years, there has been a 73% increase in pollution levels from hundreds of cities, in the main stem of the Yangtze River. The annual discharge of sewage and industrial waste in the river has reached about 25 billion tons, which is 42% of the country’s total sewage discharge, and 45% of its total industrial discharge.

In addition, the CCICED (China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development) Task Force on Reducing Non-Point Pollution from Crop Production concluded that 92% of the nitrogen discharged into the Yangtze is from agriculture.




RIVER CLEANERS - Spend the summer collecting floating garbage on the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia. Battling scorching sun and tolerating the stench from the rubbish, these people are indeed unsung heroes trying to improve the quality of the waterway. Garbage collectors are local fishermen wanting an extra income to support their families. 





Chinese name: 长江 (Cháng Jiāng)
Other names: Yangtse/Yangzi River
Length: 6,380 km (3,964 miles)
Source: Glacier of Jianggendiru, west to the Geladandong Peak, the main peak of Tanggula Mountain
Source elevation: 5,042 m (16,542 ft)
Location: 24°30′-35°45′N, 90°33′-112°25′E
Influx into: China East Sea
Average discharge: 31,900 cubic meters per second (1,127,000 cubic foot per second)
River basin: 1,800,000 square km (694,983 square miles)







More than 400 people are missing after a Chinese passenger boat sank on the Yangtze river after being hit by what the captain described as a cyclone.

Five bodies have so far been recovered from the the Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, vessel, which was carrying 458 people on a river cruise when it went down at around 9.30pm on Monday night not far from the city of Jingzhou in Hubei province.

It appeared that about 18 people were known to have survived, with heavy rain and strong winds hindering the work of emergency teams.

A further three bodies were recovered 30 miles from the wreck, state media reported, in an indication of the speed of the water and the scale of the challenge facing recovery teams.

Television footage from the wreck showed rescuers in orange life vests climbing on the upside-down hull, with one of them lying down tapping a hammer and listening for a response, then gesturing downward.

Rescuers pulled six people to safety after hearing cries for help from inside the capsized vessel and at least 12 others swam to shore.

No distress call was sent by the four-level ship. One survivor, non-swimmer Zhang Hui, told Xinhua, China’s official news agency, he had clung to debris for 10 hours before being rescued. He said the ship began to tilt after heavy rain seeped in through windows and began soaking cabins. Police at the scene appeared to be expecting many fatalities.





Eastern Star had been travelling from Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, to the south-western city of Chongqing when the incident happened.

Xinhua said the ship’s captain and chief engineer were among the survivors, and both were detained by police.

The overturned ship drifted almost two miles downstream before coming to rest close to the river shore, where choppy waters made the rescue difficult. On Tuesday morning, its wreckage was around 15 metres beneath the surface.

China’s prime minister, Li Keqiang, headed to the scene of the disaster to lead the rescue effort.

Broadcaster CCTV reported that 6 inches (150 millimeters) of rain had fallen in the region over the past 24 hours. Local media reported winds reached 80 mph (130 kph) during the accident.

China’s Meteorological Administration said a force 12 cyclone struck the area when the ship went down.

Many of the ship’s passengers started out in Shanghai, taking a bus to Nanjing for the departure on the eight-day cruise to Chongqing. The Yangtze is the world’s third-longest river and is a popular cruise route, especially through the Three Gorges river canyon region.





Most were aged between 50 and 80, and were traveling with Shanghai agency Xiehe Travel. The tour agency’s offices remained closed on Tuesday, as relatives of the missing gathered outside.

Many complained about the lack of information about the accident. “I knew of the accident around six o’clock this morning through the news and then came here at seven o’clock. We have been waiting here but we haven’t heard any information,” said one man.

Reports said there were 406 passengers, five travel agency employees and 47 crew members on the ship.

A group of about a dozen retirees from a Shanghai bus company were on the trip, said a woman who identified herself only by her surname, Chen. Among them, she said, were her elder sister and her elder sister’s husband, both 60, and their granddaughter, 6.

“This group has traveled together a lot, but only on short trips. This is the first time they travelled for a long trip,” she told the Associated Press.

Relatives also gathered in the eastern city of Nanjing, from where the boat departed, and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing which was the final destination.

Many complained about the lack of information about the accident. “I knew of the accident around six o’clock this morning through the news and then came here at seven o’clock. We have been waiting here but we haven’t heard any information,” said a man, who also gave his surname as Chen.

His sister, 69, and brother-in-law were both passengers.

A 64-year-old man surnamed Zhang said he spoke to his wife on the boat Monday evening hours before the accident, and she told him about poor weather and heavy rain.

“I usually call her twice a day. But today, after I heard the news... the phone call never got through.”

“No one has come out to give us any information. Even Li Keqiang is already at the site. But here, the travel agency should at least offer us some consolation.”




THE GLOBAL OCEAN COMMISSIONERS - Your representative for the GOC is shown on this map of the world showing the location of the Commissioners. Victor Chu is the most appropriate contact for the Yangtze River. Be aware that the GOC is likely to be wound down in 2016, having recommended doing not that much really in terms of plastic. What then was the purpose of funding you might ask? It is surely irresponsible to know of a problem and not suggest ways to prevent the problem worsening.




ENDANGERED SPECIES - The polluted Yangtze River in China supports millions of people in poverty who are dependent on the river for all their washing, drinking and nutritional needs. Barely surviving is also the critically endangered Baiji River Dolphin and Finless Porpoise. Over-fishing using unsustainable methods such as dynamite has degraded the river and reduced fish stocks to the detriment of both wildlife and the people who fish the river system.




Dr. Xianfeng Zhang is determined to improve fishing practices and prevent the extinction of the dolphins by launching a targetted educational campaign to raise awareness of the plight of these two highly vulnerable cetacean species. The project focuses on an educational media campaign targeting 3,000 local Yangtze fishermen in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze. The campaign aims to highlight the impact that current activities are having on the river’s flagship inhabitants, and to demonstrate the need for sustainable management and development of the Yangtze’s freshwater ecosystem resources. A Professor of Zoology and Conservation Biology at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Zhang is an expert of cetacean biology and has over 20 years experience of educational initiatives and community engagement.

















Travel China Guide river yangtze

Wikipedia Yangtze

China Daily Sunday July 2012 22

Britannica Yangtze River

Panda freshwater_decline 10_rivers_risk yangtze_threats

The Guardian 2015 June China ship carrying 400 passengers sinks in Yangtze river

Whitley Award Yangtze fishermen education baiji river dolphin finless porpoise China



Carcinogenic smog in Beijing, China



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