• Hollywood International Independant Documentary
  • Northwest Filmmaker Festival
  • Vancouver International film festival
  • Sedona Film Festival
  • Blue Ocean Film Festival
  • Cineme Verde Film Festival
  • Colorado Environmental Film Festival
  • Eugene International Film Festival
  • New Jersey Film Festival
  • Wild & Scenic Film Festival
  • San Luis Obispo Film Festival
  • Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
  • Transitions Film Festival
  • Water Docs Film Festival
  • San Francisco Green Festival
  • Arizona International Film Festival
  • Canadian International Fashion Film Festival
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nations Capital
  • NYC Indie Film Fest
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
  • Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival
  • Sarasota Film Festival

Xintang, China

Posted on September 18th, 2013

Greenpeace has called the Pearl one of the worst polluted waterways in the World.

China is a country of overwhelming growth and industry. It is a country where you can see a city spring up in just a few years where previously stood fields of rice paddies and villagers. Everyone is working, busy and industrious and the RiverBlue team found it to be quite a juxtaposition to India.

228A9321In the north, the RiverBlue team travelled to Guilin, a city of incredible beauty amongst Karst topography, mountains that are formed from limestone. The team went there to visit the Li River. Mark paddled in a section of this river, considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Both villagers and wildlife prosper from this magnificent river.

From the beauty of the Li River, the RiverBlue team ventured downstream to Xiantang, the blue jeans capital of the world and home of the Pearl River Delta. Greenpeace has called the Pearl one of the worst polluted waterways in the World. As the global center for manufacturing, China’s production of cheap apparel has clothed the world. Xiantang produces approximately 300 million pairs of jeans per year, roughly equivalent to 40 percent of the jeans sold in the US annually.

228A7409

The manufacture of jeans illustrates some of the most visible and gross pollution caused by China’s textile and clothing industry. Factories are located along the river that flow into the Pearl River Delta. The river was once pristine, but has since become a black ditch dividing the village of Xizhou from the industrial zone. The Xizhou villagers say that when the factory discharges are severe, the river water is not merely polluted, but toxic. Though villagers once fished in the river and drank its water, they now dare to do neither of these things, and must pay for tap water.

The water quality has deteriorated sharply since the region’s remarkable economic growth began in the late 1970s, with more than 60% of its waterways now designated as ‘polluted’.

While in this area, the RiverBlue team met with a fisherman and his wife who took them out on the river and showed them how they made a living. Though they could no longer fish, as the fish had long been fished out and could no longer tolerate the toxicity of the water, the fisherman and his wife dredged the bottom of the river pulling up the muck of discarded textiles and denim from the black/blue water which they sifted through to find worms. They dried these worms, which were then sold to be processed into fish food to the North American market.

228A5845

The RiverBlue team spoke with Ma Jun and representatives from Greenpeace, such as Tianjie Ma, who have carried out sampling on the Pearl River. Their findings indicates that the chemicals in the river include persistent and bioaccumative hormone disruptors that pose long-term threats to the environment and to human health. The Pearl River basin also serves as a source of drinking water for the region’s 47 million inhabitants, including the populations of Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The water quality has deteriorated sharply since the region’s remarkable economic growth began in the late 1970s, with more than 60% of its waterways now designated as ‘polluted’.

References: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/

Comments

7 Responses
  1. Kallie Alviar says:

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.

  2. Man Zellars says:

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  3. Teena Onstad says:

    Very good post. I’m experiencing many of these issues as well..

  4. Terrence Lozito says:

    I visit daily a few sites and sites to read articles, however this website offers feature based writing.

  5. Jere Teece says:

    Very good information. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

  6. Douglass Wilkoff says:

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going to return once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  7. Wonderful article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.