The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of 200 million $ for a pilot project of river restoration in one of the tributaries of the Yangtze River Basin in China. This is one of the first projects to address urban–rural water links under the PRC government’s rural vitalization strategy. The project in Henan Province will install water supply, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management facilities in both rural and urban areas.
“We’re hopeful that this project will show a way to restore the health of economically and ecologically important water systems like the Tuan River in Dengzhou City”, said ADB Senior Water Resources Specialist for East Asia Mr. Rabindra Osti, adding that clean drinking water is a challenge for many riverfront cities not only in China, but also in other parts of Asia and Pacific.
The Tuan River, which runs through the Dengzhou City, is heavily polluted due to lack of wastewater and solid waste management both in urban and rural areas. Groundwater, which serves as drinking water for urban and rural areas, is highly contaminated by the pollutants from the Tuan River as well as the use of fertilizer on the farmland.
In the last decade, the water pollution contributed to 300,000 cases of waterborne diseases. At the same time, riverbank erosion and the disappearance of wetlands and drainage channels are exacerbating the river environment degradation and causing increased flooding in the city.
The Dengzhou City area is a source of water to the government’s south to north water diversion project that supplies water from the Han River in the Yangtze River Basin to the cities of Beijing and Tianjin as well as the provinces of Hebei and Henan. This is way improving the river is also important for people living much further away.
The total cost of the project is $423.12 million (S$578.1 million), with the Government of the PRC contributing $223.12 million (S$304.85 million) in financing. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.