The proportion of highly polluted water in all city waterways is set to drop from 18 percent to 12 percent by the end of the year.
The city launched a three-year plan last year aimed at eliminating water rated 5 by 2020. Water rated 5 refers to malodorous black water that is so polluted it can’t be used and is yucky to look at.
More than 3,150 waterways were improved last year, thanks to dredging, pipeline renovation and a crackdown on illegal constructions.
In 2017, Shanghai introduced the river chief scheme, a nationwide campaign to improve city waterways.
District directors are appointed as chiefs of the main waterways in the areas under their jurisdictions. Directors of sub-districts or towns are appointed as secondary chiefs responsible for smaller waterways in their areas.
Jingbei River in suburban Qingpu District is one of the improved waterways.
The transparency of the river has now reached 1.2 meters. Several years ago, because of waste water from nearby construction sites and residential complexes, the water was black and smelly.
The river is about 2 kilometers west of the National Exhibition and Convention Center which is the venue of the China International Import Expo.
“We reconstructed pipelines nearby so that waste water wouldn’t go directly into the river,” said Yang Xinzhi, chief of the river. “We also cracked down on five cases where people were illegally discharging water into the river.”
The public space alongside the rivers is also getting better.
A 11.2-kilometer jogging and walking path along the Suzhou Creek in Changning District will be finished this year, said the district authority.
By 2020, 42 kilometers along the Suzhou Creek will be all open to the public.