Efforts to tackle water pollution as part of the Three Gorges Dam project are encountering problems, admitted State Environmental Protection Administration official Xie Zhenhua. He said that many industrial wastewater treatment plants were failing to hit targets and measures to tackle boat pollution were progressing slowly.
The area along the Yangtze is one of the most polluted in China, with a high concentration of paper, steel and chemical factories. China Daily said that more than 6m tonnes of rubbish and nearly 10m tonnes of solid waste are dumped into the Three Gorges area and upper Yangtze region every year.
Environmentalists fear that the creation of the reservoir and the resultant drop in the Yangtze water flow will increase the concentration of sewage. Last year, government officials pledged to spend Yn39.2bn up to 2010 on cleaning up the Yangtze.