BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- China has made strides in rolling out a "river chief" system nationwide amid efforts to tackle water pollution.
Since the top leadership decided last year to assign each waterway in the country a specific steward, more than 900,000 "river chiefs" have been appointed at each level of government nationwide, according to data released by the Ministry of Water Resources Tuesday.
Visible water quality improvements have been seen during the past year. In Zhejiang Province, black and odorous water has been basically eliminated. Jiangsu Province has announced 36 plans to increase lake coverage by more than 425 square kilometers.
"River chiefs" are tasked with resource protection, pollution prevention and control, and ecological restoration and they will be held accountable for environmental damage in bodies of water under their supervision.
As part of the country's broad plan to control pollution, it has unveiled a similar program for the country's lakes.
At a meeting on Dec. 8, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee vowed to make solid progress in 2018 in curbing major risks, eradicating poverty and pollution control, "three tough battles" the country must win to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020.