Moutai benefits from eco-friendly Chishui River
The 'Streaming Down the Yangtze' team has visited the famous Maotai Township along the Chishui River.
Chishui is the only tributary of the Yangtze River that doesn't have any dam or hydropower station along the river route.
Over the years, the ecological protection of Chishui River has been key to the local traditional industry.
The ecological protection of Chishui River has been key to the local traditional industry.[Photo: Xinhua]
For that end, CRI host Shane Bigham had a conversation with our reporter Yang Guang who is on the trip.
1. What measures has the local government taken to protect the Chishui River?
Actually, as early as in1972, the then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai instructed that no factories were allowed to be built within the 100 kilometers along the Chishui River upstream the Maotai distillery, so that the quality of Maotai could be guaranteed. This tradition has been extended until now. There are not any industrial activities along the river.
Coming into 2007, Guizhou government further signed liability paper with 25 local enterprises based along the river, making them take the responsibility to protect each section of the water. If they failed to keep each section of the river clean, they will face punishment.
The provincial government has spent some 380 million dollars in recent years on ecosystem protection of the river.
The environment protection administration of Guizhou have also shut down a lot of individual workshops alongside the river that violate river protection regulations.
Guizhou also contacted Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces, where Chishui River passes, too, to establish a joint river protection mechanism.
The combined efforts are aimed at zero pollution of the river from the very source and along the whole route.
All these moves have produced some positive result so far. Chishui River has constantly running the cleanest water in the Guizhou part of Yangtze basin.
2. Do local enterprises contribute to the environmental protection? What have they done?
Yes, liquor producers have also participated a lot in terms of local ecological protection and pollution control.
For example, Maotai has marked one hundred kilometers of the river upstream the distillery as the core protection area. They plant trees along the river shores and consistently monitor the environmental changes within the area. During the visit we could clearly see new trees have been planted on the hills on the two sides of the river.
General manager of Maotai Li Baofang told us the hills used to be corn fields and the planted tress have effectively prevented land run-off and pesticide entering the river.
Maotai and other local liquor producers also voluntarily set up fundings to help raise local poverty populations. They want to show their gratitude to the upstream farmers for protecting the river from pollution.
In June, four enterprises made a nearly four million dollar charity to the town of Xiongzhen, Yunnan Province, where is the source of Chishui River.
The entrepreneurs supported the government's poverty alleviation work, aiming to let more people involved in the protection of Chishui river and realize how important it is to make the water clean with the joint efforts.
Maotai itself has also built five wastewater plants so far to process some sewage into clean, drinkable water. Their standard is the highest compared with peer enterprises.