Report on Shanghai
Shanghai Flash N° 4/2003 pdf-version
glass of water with half a glass of dirt' was the vivid picture
of the quality of drinking water in Shanghai some 25 years ago.
People could still clearly remember the strange taste of the water
at that time. Half a century's industrialisation not only led
to Shanghai's fast development, but also to serious environmental
As the Chinese
saying goes, a city with a river running through it is a city
full of life. But this cannot be applied to Shanghai. Having two
heavily polluted rivers running across the city, the Huangpu River
and the Suzhou Creek, Shanghai has to deal with two problematic
water currants. Back to even five years ago, walking along the
famous Bund area was not a pleasant experience because of the
bad smell emanating from the Huangpu River. For people living
close to the Suzhou Creek, the situation was even worse. People
had to keep windows closed day and night to avoid the foul smell
from the water in the neighbourhood. Instead of being green and
clear, the Creek was black and opaque, full of sewage.
water for urban residents is seriously polluted as it comes mainly
from outlying sections of these two rivers - the upper stretch
of the Huangpu River near the Songpu Bridge in Minhang District,
and the river mouth where the Yangtze River merges with the East
the threat of worsening water pollution, and demands of meeting
international environmental standards, the Shanghai government
decided to adopt measures for improving the environmental situation
in the city. The municipal government has listed Shanghai's rivers
at the top of its environmental agenda. The rehabilitation project
of the Suzhou Creek is the key issue on this agenda.
the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Plan, the municipal government
has taken steps to improve the water situation by building more
sewage treatment facilities. Over the past two decades Shanghai
has spent over 10 billion yuan on sewage treatment and treatment
facilities, including the building of 31 sewage treatment plants.
Over the next two years the Shanghai government will set up another
27 new sewage treatment plants as well as investing heavily in
new and bigger waste water pipes to further increase the city's
capacity of disposing waste water.
plans on waste water treatment, water saving and building green
areas have influenced the traditional socialist economic structure
in this sector. Private enterprises and foreign investment emerges
in the former government sector in relation to the many environmental
projects, showing a growing impact of the market economy on a
key sector of urban well-being.
CREEK REHABILITATION PLAN
originating in Gua Jing Kou, Jiangsu Province, is one of the biggest
tributaries of the Huangpu River. The Creek is about 125- km long,
of which 53.1 km are lying within the boundary of the Shanghai
municipality and 23.8 km are within the city proper. The average
width of the Creek is about 70-80 m. The average depth is 2 to
4 metres at low tide and about 7 to 8 metres at high tide. According
to the statistics of the hydrologic station in the Huangpu district,
the average net flow is 6m3/s, while at the river mouth it is
more than 10m3/s, of which 40-60% is contributed by the inflow
of domestic and industrial waste water along the banks. At present,
the Creek serves many functions, including flood prevention, navigation,
industrial water supply, irrigation, and aquatics breeding. Flood
prevention is of high importance in a region traditionally subjected
to regular flooding. There are six main local tributaries to the
Creek - Mudugang, Pengyuepu, Zhenrugang, Huacaogang, Xinjinggang
waste water discharged into the Suzhou Creek
In the first
decade of the 20th century, the creek was quite clean. But starting
in the 1920s, continuous pollution led to a deterioration of the
creek and from the 1950s, the pollution became even heavier. More
and more industries poured untreated waste into the waterway and,
as the city's population swelled, too many people began using
the creek as a place to dump their domestic trash and sewage.
The pollution avalanche resulted in the death of the river - there
was no fish or plant life in the river any longer.
Creek Rehabilitation Plan
In 1996 the
President of the P.R.China, Jiang Zeming, strongly insisted that
the Suzhou Creek be treated. As a result the Shanghai Municipal
Government established the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Leader
Group and further increased the legal power of the Group in 1998
and 2000. The Group was directed by Mr. Xu Kuangdi, the mayor
of Shanghai at that time, Mr. Chen Liangyu, the standing V-M and
the actual Secretary, Mr. Han Zhen, a V-M at that time and the
present mayor. The organisation of the Group highlighted the importance
given to the rehabilitation of the Suzhou Creek among all the
projects dealing with environmental issues in Shanghai. The municipal
government has been attaching more and more importance to the
rehabilitation plan during the following years. The government
obviously hopes, through the treatment of the Suzhou Creek, to
improve the general water situation of other middle and small
sized rivers in Shanghai.
The First Phase of the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Plan
In 1998, the
first phase of the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Plan was launched.
During this first phase three main aims were followed, namely
the reduction of sewage discharge into the river, the installation
of a water lock between Huangpu river and Suzhou Creek and the
input of oxygen into the dead river. The first phase of the Rehabilitation
Plan has been completed in 2003 with a total investment of around
7 billion yuan (US$ 84 million).
water quality has reached the fifth level of national classification
by the beginning of 2003 when the first phase of the Rehabilitation
project has been successfully completed, with a total investment
of about 6.89 billion yuan. The water is getting clearer. The
foul smell is disappearing. The city has managed to beautify the
landscape along the Creek in the downtown area, changing it to
be one of the heated real estate markets in the city center. Statistics
show that prices for houses along the waterway are 10 to 15 percent
higher than for housing only a little away from the creek. To
own an apartment close to the Creek is becoming a dream for local
residents. The concept of Riverside Residence is starting to make
Creek after the First Phase
The Second Phase of the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Plan
completion of the first phase in January 2003, the municipal government
started the second phase. It will be completed in the year of
2005. The second phase of the Rehabilitation Plan, with an estimated
investment of 3.94 billion yuan, remains the top priority of the
second round of the city's three-year environmental plan. The
goal of the second phase is to maintain and improve the current
water quality, to tackle the problems of the six tributaries,
and to build large areas of green space along the Suzhou Creek.
to consolidating the achievement of the first phase, more landscaping
of the creek's banks and bridges is the key component in the second
phase. Sewage treatment and blocking off the pollution sources
are the major tasks. The main projects are
of another water lock at the river mouth of the Suzhou Creek
- located close to the Wai Bai Du Bridge, the merging area of
the Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River. The lock will allow
to block the water flow from both sides when necessary in order
to prevent flooding, and to adjust the dredge of water from
west to east and east to north of the Suzhou Creek
treatment of the upper reach of the Suzhou Creek - including
constructions of a sewage treatment plant in Huang Du Zhen,
building a 40 km pipeline, reducing 367 pollutant sources and
stopping polluted water of 44,000 m3/day
block project of the lower reach of the Suzhou Creek
- The Second
Phase of Meng Qing Yuan Project - Used as an educational base
for the youth. Initially planned to be an inspection station
of the water situation of the Suzhou Creek, the project is changed
into be a green area, basically a theme park due to financial
problems of the original project.
Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Plan is supposed to be completed by
the year 2010. By implementing the project the government hopes
to improve not only the natural environment and the quality of
life for local residents, but also the city's international image
and attractiveness. The results of the Plan can be literally seen
so far. However, a big improvement of the quality of water will
still take time to show. One of the reasons is the fact that Taihu
Lake, the main source of the river, is still severely polluted.
Another reason is that some people still fail to realise the importance
of protecting the environment and continue to dump waste into
PROJECTS RELATED TO THE SHANGHAI WATER SYSTEM
Sewage Treatment Plants under Construction
spent over 10 billion yuan over the past two decades on sewage
treatment, including the building of 31 sewage treatment facilities.
However sewage treatment is still a major issue for the city.
Currently the city only treats about 44 percent of the 5.40 million
tons of waste water produced every day, with the rest still flowing
directly into local rivers.
of two large sewage treatment plants began in June 2002. The Zhuyuan
No. 1 sewage treatment plant and the Bailonggang plant could process
1.7 million and 1.2 million tons of waste water daily respectively.
The two plants cost a total of 1.48 billion yuan and are expected
to be in service by the end of 2003.
to the above two plants, the government will set up 27 new sewage
treatment plants as well as more waste water pipes by 2005. Once
the new facilities are in place, the city should be able to treat
76 percent of the waste water it produces.
Along the Riverside of the Suzhou Creek
second phase of the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Plan, more emphasis
will be put on building green areas along the banks of the Suzhou
Creek to meet the goal of the Shanghai government to change the
Creek into a natural garden for leisure and tourism, and to realise
the dream of turning it into the Oriental Seine. The Shanghai
government has planned to build more than 100 hectares of green
areas. Green Lounge under construction now is about 1.1 hectares,
with a length of 1.6 kilometres.
With the city's
population expected to increase only marginally and in spite of
a continuous economic development until 2020, the water authority
in Shanghai claims that Shanghai's water consumption will not
increase from its present volume. Saving one cubic meter of water
means saving urban infrastructure costs of 10,000 yuan (US$ 1,200).
In the year of 2001, Shanghai saved 300 million cubic meters of
water by readjusting the industrial structure and by employing
drinking water. The Huangpu River, supplying 80 percent of the
city's drinking water, is . Besides penning regulations, the authority
is popularising technology among the public to cut the amount
of used water. At present, the city has about 600,000 family toilets,
each using 13 litres of water per flush. These are to be renovated
to use only 9 litres of water per flush. In three years, all the
toilets must be renovated, saving the city nearly 15 million yuan
(US$ 1.82 million) annually in water treatment.
adopt information technology in its water treatment and establish
an IT framework to digitise services by the year 2007.
IN FINANCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE RELATED TO THE WATER PROJECTS
planned an investment of 50 billion yuan (US$6.05 billion) over
five years to reposition itself as a world-class river city with
clean and safe water resources. The private sector, including
foreign companies, starts to play a role in government environmental
projects, which used to be exclusively governmental. Thanks to
the flexible operating mechanisms of the local government and
thanks to a strong desire for municipal growth, private enterprises
and foreign lending institutions are slowing becoming elements
in terms of involvement. The ongoing rehabilitation project of
the Suzhou Creek and the large scale development of green areas
in the city all require a stronger participation from the non-state
Development Bank (ADB) financed part of the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation
Plan. The city also negotiated with the World Bank for loans to
finance its sewage treatment infrastructure; Thames LLP and Bovis
of the UK joined in the financing of the Dachang water-treatment
plant; the Shanghai-based Youlian Enterprise Development
Company, together with two other companies, will invest 870 million
yuan in the Shanghai Zhuyuan No. 1 Sewage Treatment Factory over
the next 20 years, aiming to increase Zhuyuan's daily treatment
capacity to 1.7 million tons. Fuxi Investment Holding Co. Ltd,
following the purchase of beneficiary rights for some expressways,
has also great interest in the water sector including the drinking
water improvement and the sewage treatment.
Vivandi Water Works in Shanghai has worked with the Shanghai Tong
Ji University on developing the technology to improve the quality
of drinking water. The company has also got involved in water
saving and leak detection projects.
FOR SWISS BUSINESS
projects of Shanghai government could be a potential market for
Switzerland in fields of Swiss waste water treatment products/system
and financial services. Some Swiss companies (such as ABB) have
started co-operation with the Shanghai government on waste water
treatment projects but there is still a large scale of demands
on this sector. Shanghai also needs a lot of support on water
saving and water recycling.
has not had any financial co-operation with the Shanghai government
yet. In spite of the increasingly open attitude to private enterprises
and foreign companies, the Shanghai government is still very cautious
in giving out detailed information about the governmental projects.
Swiss financial institutions such as SOFI and Swiss Mixed Credit
could get involved in the Shanghai's environmental projects by
offering financial aids.
needs contributions in terms of reconstruction and beautification
of the Riverside area. Take e.g., the development of Northern
Bund area. Northern Bund area, the area along the bank of the
Huangpu River and to the north of the Suzhou Creek, is supposed
to be another new zone forming a triangle together with Pudong
Lujiazui area and the original Bund area. Lots of constructions
will take place, among them a twin tower of a height of around
100 meters is set to become another thematic scene of Shanghai.
By SONG Yujia
General of Switzerland
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