This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. To mark the occasion, we are publishing a series of reports celebrating the city’s achievements in different aspects over the past four decades.
Shenzhen has made remarkable achievements in water treatment by eliminating 159 blackened, noxious rivers by the end of 2019 through a four-year effort.
The water quality of the city’s nine main rivers, including the Maozhou River, the border river with Dongguan, Shenzhen River, Guanlan River, Dasha River and Longgang River, have been greatly improved.
The Maozhou River, which was the most seriously polluted river in Guangdong Province, and the Shenzhen River have reached their best levels seen in 1992 and 1982. The Maozhou River has become a model of Shenzhen water treatment as it now has two separate systems for rain and sewage water.
As the mega city with the densest population in China, Shenzhen lags behind other cities in sewage treatment facilities and river pollution has been a prominent problem that bottlenecks the city’s sustainable development since the 1990s.
The city has 310 rivers with flow areas of more than 1 square kilometer each. The combined length of rivers stands at 999 kilometers. During the city’s development, 159 rivers were tainted and polluted, producing nefarious odors.
In 1993, the city set up a water resources bureau bearing responsibility for water-related projects including planning, water supply, conservation, drainage, treatment, drought prevention and flood control.
In recent years, it was tasked with pollution prevention and control, construction of the Sponge City and management of river estuaries.
To improve the water quality, the city built a 3,274-kilometer water pipeline network in four years, which is 4.5 times the length that was completed in the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), and completed 13,793 pipeline renovation projects in urban villages and housing estates.