River chiefs help water bodies clean

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2018-08-02

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Zibo city in East China's Shandong province has reported an improvement in water quality levels, thanks to the implementation of a "river chief system" to protect its lakes, rivers, reservoirs and canals.

Shi Quanxiang, the mayor of Boshan town in Zibo city, has had a new daily task as part of his duties since 2017. He is now the river chief of Zihe River in the town, and it is his responsibility to walk along the river every day and check its water quality.

His name and contact information are posted on a sign at the river listing him as responsible for preventing water pollution. There are a total of 29 signs in the town.

Boshan town is one of the most important water protection areas in Zibo. The Zihe River flows through the town as well as three tributaries. In the past, the river was often strewn with garbage and unmanaged.

Nowadays, thanks to the daily water quality checking patrols, the river presents an altogether different view to onlookers.

As mayors and county heads are responsible for cities and counties, river chiefs are responsible for the management and protection of water resources.

Shandong province launched a five-level river chief system last year, which constitutes the patrol of bodies of water throughout the province, including in its municipalities, counties, townships and villages. More than 76,000 officials were appointed as chiefs to protect a total of 8228 bodies of water in the province.

Since last year, Shandong has conducted more than 7,800 river chief patrols to help protect water resources and prevent and control pollution.

On the back of the success of the river chief patrolling system, the Shandong government is to establish a five-level lake chief system in September.