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Flood control an example of ecological improvement

By Yuan Shenggao ( China Daily )

Updated: 2018-12-28

Twenty years ago, Putian in Fujian province was frequently the site of devastating floods, as the Mulan River would overflow its banks and overwhelm homes there. But now, a flood control system on the river has become one of the successful ecological projects in Putian.

Lin Baojin, Party chief of Putian, said people have higher expectations of the environment than before, so local authorities are intensifying efforts to win a tough battle against pollution.

As it completed flood prevention work in 2011, Putian developed a comprehensive plan to better manage watersheds of the Mulan River.

In Xianyou county, a mountainous region where rivers start and portable water is sourced, there is now a national Mulan River water source conservation area.

To ensure water purity, Putian has become the first area in Fujian province to prohibit building livestock and poultry farms near the water source. The authorities have drawn lines in the banks of the Mulan River's main stream and tributaries to reconstruct vacated land and develop the forest economy and other services.

Also, farms in Xianyou are now required to treat sewage so thoroughly that it cannot affect the water origin area, local official Li Jinghui said.

Out of 325 villages in the county, livestock farms are only allowed in 53, and all of them are far from water sources.

To echo Putian city's policies, Xianyou earmarked 50 million yuan ($7.27 million) as ecological compensation funds.

"We have attracted nongovernment capital to environmental projects via innovated market operation and financing models, including government purchase services," said Putian Mayor Li Jianhui.

For instance, Licheng district outpaced its goal for a septic tank renovation plan for local residents via a public-private partnership mode in 2017.

Industrial wastewater treatment also now meets the highest emission standard. This year, water from the Mulan River is set to meet quality standards.

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