The Yellow River in Huijihe carries effluent from the paper mills and fertilizer factories lined on its banks and along its tributaries in this heavily industrialized region of China. Like others, a Chinese boy fishes with his family on the shores of the river. (Photo copyright Greg Girard/Contact Press Images for Circle of Blue.)
This article from Circle of Blue explains:
China’s Dirty Water Leads to Protests, Some Reform —More than two weeks after demonstrators peacefully protested pollution in China’s Fujian province, 10,000 villagers and some 2,000 riot police in the area violently clashed over the rancid effluent and foul smells from a wastewater treatment plant. The protest this month is the latest confrontation in a wave of social unrest over industrial practices that has drawn attention to some of the world’s dirtiest rivers and lakes and led to public calls for China to dramatically strengthen environmental safeguards.
Protests over water quality in China are now occurring with such frequency, say China specialists and environmental advocates, that they signal an awakening of public and government conscience about the environment. They have also led to improvements last year in Chinese water quality statutes.