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March 9, 2017

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App coming to tell you the health of your river

SHANGHAI’S environment watchdog will launch a smart phone application early next year for residents to oversee the city government’s campaign to improve waterways, a senior official said yesterday.

A professional version of the app, named Shanghai Ground Water Quality, has already been issued to local officials, or “river chiefs” charged with cleaning up polluted waterways and overseeing long-term sustainability, said Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

“I can check the water quality of 259 river sections being monitored across the city on my mobile phone even though I am in Beijing now,” said Zhang, who is a legislator in the National People’s Congress and is in the capital for the current session.

According to data on the app, all rivers on Chongming Island have already met quality standards.

Most downtown rivers have been cleaned and displayed as green spots on the app, but many red spots, which mean polluted, can be found near the boundary between downtown and outlying regions.

“The app will be available to the public in early 2018 to invite local citizens to monitor the water quality,” Zhang told Shanghai Daily.

Currently, the city’s newly appointed river chiefs, from the city mayor to the heads of city and district water and environmental protection authorities have installed the app on their phones.

Engineers with the bureau test the water quality manually and the data is updated monthly. Sensors will be installed on the rivers by the end of the year to provide more frequent automatic updates.

The public will be able to check the water quality near their homes every two or three hours. The city aims to clean up all waterways by the end of the year and has appointed “river chiefs” to be personally responsible for their area.


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