UN-habitat notes China's success in rehabilitation of urban rivers

Added On March 14, 2019

According to a senior official from the UN Human Settlement Programme, China's success in rehabilitation of polluted urban rivers could serve as an inspiration to other developing countries, where rapid growth of cities has negatively impacted the health of fresh water bodies.
According to the UN Human Settlement Programme, or UN-Habitat, today, more than half of the world’s 500 biggest rivers are seriously depleted or polluted。
Wastewater effluents are major contributors to the pollution of urban rivers and other surface water sources, threatening public health, the environment and the blue economy.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of UN-Habitat hailed Beijing's bold actions, that have boosted the restoration of urban rivers amid threats linked to rapid industrialization.
She said that the publication makes a strong case for increasing investment in wastewater collection and treatment. 
"I applaud the efforts of the Government of the People’s Republic of China in developing technical, managerial and financial solutions to improve the water quality of their urban rivers, including sewage interception and pollution control combined with systematic planning, investment and effective governance through the River Chief System. These experiences can be emulated by developing countries in formulating strategies for wastewater management and river rehabilitation."
Wu Jiang, executive vice president of Tongji University, said that a partnership with UN-Habitat will enhance the sharing of knowledge and expertise required to boost ecological renewal of Chinese cities.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): WU JIANG, China's Tongji University
"The institute of environment for sustainable development founded in 2002 joined with UN environment also acts as an active platform to coordinate and to strengthen the partnership between Tongji and UN. The two reports highlight two important topics that interact between Cities and environment by innovative solutions to tackle the urban river pollution."
With the world's source of clean water rapidly depleting, the UN estimates that, on average, high-income countries treat about 70% of the municipal and industrial wastewater they generate. That ratio drops to 38% in upper middle-income countries and to 28% in lower middle-income countries. In low-income countries, only 8% undergoes treatment of any kind.