Photographed by © Marc Ressang, courtesy of Culture Trip, with story voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Hao Xin was a teenager when he first saw the waters of East China’s Qiantang River… a staggering memory he will never forget.
Factory wastewater flowed directly into the river. Piles of foul-smelling garbage floated by him. And chemicals dyed the water unnatural colors. The pollution was grotesque.
While some might have walked away, Hao Xin took action… and Qiantang River Waterkeeper was born.
He empowered local residents to play a role in protecting their waterway. He worked to establish a fifty-billion-dollar plan to treat contamination, prevent flooding, and conserve water. He lobbied the provincial government to prioritize environmental issues… gaining their trust and helping them see Waterkeeper as a partner, not an enemy.
Today, the Qiantang River flows clearer than it has in decades.
That’s because Hao Xin has created a community of protection around the River… understanding that water is what truly connects us all.
Hao Xin, the Qiantang River Waterkeeper in southeastern China’s coastal Zhejiang province, is battling wide-scale development that has led to rampant pollution and water shortages in a region with 20 million people. Hao, who is committed to educating the public and encouraging local participation, created a pollution app for local citizens to report on the river’s health and frequently holds round-table discussions about the river via television broadcast. Recognized through multiple awards across China for his efforts to protect water and the environment, he organized an international forum with representatives from the world’s three major tidal rivers, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Qiantang, and recently hosted the H20 Summit, a forum for 20 major river cities across the world.
Waterkeeper Warriors is a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Waterkeeper Alliance, presented in partnership with Culture Trip. Inspired to join our Warriors in protecting the world’s waterways? Donate now.
Special thanks to Creative Producer Kathryn MacLeod, our partners at Wild Woods Picture & Sound and our friends at Sonic Union and Sound Lounge.