The Yangtze river, shown in the picture above, is the largest river in Asia and the third largest river in the world. Yangtze derives from the Chinese word "long", which is Changjiang / Chángjiāng. Shown on the top left, the river goes from the Tibetan Plateau all the way over to the great city of Shanghai. For years, the river has been an important factor in China's history, culture, and economy. It makes up 20% of China's GDP. It has been long known to be used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, and industry.
In the past 50 years, there has been a 73% increase in pollution levels from hundreds of cities, in the main stem of the Yangtze River. The once crystal clear water has turned murky and even red near some cities. After the establishment of the Three Gorges Dam in 2008 (construction started in 1994 and it is now the biggest hydro-electric station in the world), it has drastically increased industrial pollution, agricultural run-off, siltation, and loss of wetland and lakes, which exacerbates seasonal flooding. Not to mention the destruction of ecosystems and endangering multiple species. The native Yangtze River Dolphin, also known as Baiji, has been deemed extinct.
Before and After
Before and after the dam. Take note of the decreased wildlife.
The Red River
The once clear Yangtze River is red in various cities in the present day.