Green Development

Autonomous region capital takes measures to heal Yellow River’s environment

Updated: May 6, 2023 Print
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The Yellow River is vital for Yinchuan, the capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region which lies on the upper reaches of the river. Yinchuan’s people value every drop of the Yellow River’s water.

Nourished by the Yellow River, Yinchuan is latticed by waterways and rich in greenery [Photo by Li Jing/Provided to]

Ninety percent of the city's water supply is sourced from the river, as well as 59 percent of its irrigation water. Nearly 78 percent of the city’s drinking water comes from the river too. About 83.3 kilometers of the river’s length flows through the city, or 21.1 percent of its total length in the autonomous region.

Rice fields on the banks of the Yellow River [Photo by Li Jing/Provided to]

The city set June as the Publicizing and Practicing Month for Protecting Yellow River Drainage Ecology in early November, a pioneering movement initiated to show its resolution to build a high-quality development and exemplary city in this regard. It also rolled out a plan focusing on improving the ecology in the Yinchuan segment of the Yellow River this year.

A total length of 113 kilometers of standardized embankment has been constructed along the banks of the Yellow River in the city, enabling the segment to withstand 50-year floods. Fifteen river sections -- a total of 45 kilometers in length -- have been dredged, while 281 dikes and 14 kilometers of bank protectors have been built and reinforced.

The Yellow River-side wetland in Yinchuan [Photo by Su Yong/Provided to]

Five artificial wetlands have been created as part of the city's project for river network purification and wetland resource connection since 2018. New waterways have been opened to converge waters from the south and north, expanding Yinchuan's water coverage by more than 170 hectares and forming a Yellow River-side water network totaling 733 hectares in area.

About 10,510 square meters of environmentally-friendly graphene-based membrane were laid on the five wetlands. According to an official from the Yinchuan Bureau of Natural Resources, the membrane can absorb and degrade pollutants.

The well-protected wetlands in Yinchuan have become a paradise for birds. [Photo by Su Yong/Provided to]

Biologists and environmentalists have planted aquatic plants in the newly-created wetland and introduced fish, shrimp and shellfish to fertilize the water. The aquatic animals, plants, fungi, and algae have formed a complete wetland ecology purification system so that the biodiversity of the land can be restored and the water quality of the Yellow River increased.

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