A mobile phone application assisting river management has been recently launched in Central China's Hunan Province to help supervise river resources and make their administration more efficient.
The application can not only record in real time the working process of hezhang (officials in charge of protection and administration of river reaches), but also provide updated information about the water levels and flow of rivers, Hunan local media Xiaoxiang Morning Post (XMP) reported on Monday.
"It simplified the workflow of hezhang by facilitating the submission of reports and the transmission of orders," Zhang Boju, secretary-general of Friends of Nature, an environment protection NGO, told the Global Times on Monday.
Supervisors can also inspect and confirm if the reported problems were properly handled via the app, Cao Yangfei, an official with the river administration office at Chenzhou city, was quoted as saying in the XMP report.
The hezhang of Beihu district, Chenzhou, Hunan Province, have patrolled the rivers 4,905 times from January to May, with one official being punished for negligence, XMP said.
Residents can also follow the WeChat public account of the Hunan river administration to inspect and report river problems.
"The hezhang system is an effective method of river administration, but there are not enough officials to find every potential pollution source, such as drain outlets and storage stations for contaminants," Zhang said.
"The participation of residents can act as a complement to help discover overlooked environmental problems. Moreover, the improvement of water quality also requires residents to pay more attention to protecting it," Zhang added.
Previously, similar apps have been adopted in many regions and cities across the nation including Shanghai.
Zhejiang Province was the first to adopt the system in 2003, Guangming Daily reported.