Huang He River or the Yellow River

The Huang Hu River is also known as the Yellow River and is the second longest river in China after the Yangtse River

View Huang River in a larger map


The Huang He River or the Yellow River is located in China and it is the second largest and longest river in China after the Yangtze River. its length is 5464 km and the basin area is 742,443 km.
Its source is in the Bayan Har mountains in the Qinghai Province. It flows through 9 provinces and ends at the Bohai sea.


The Chinese civilization believed that their civilisation originated in the Yellow River basin. They referred to it as the 'Mother River' and the 'Cradle of the Chinese civilisation'. The Huang River has been the cause of some of the world's worst natural disasters.
Also when the river floods hundreds of thousands of people drown but twice as many drown from the diseases and lack of food.


Environmental Issues - pollution and flooding

Due to the pollution caused by factories discharging their waste and also sewage from China's fast growing cities, this has left one third of the Yellow River unusable for either agricultural or industrial use. A report carried out at the end of 2010 said that waste and sewage discharged into the river totaled 4.29 billion tonnes and industry and manufacture made up 70% of the discharge into the river! This is a huge problem that has to be addressed as China has an enormous population that must be fed. As a result The Yellow River Conservancy Commission has recently been set up to survey the problem and try and solve some of these issues.


Interesting Facts

  • The Yellow River gets its name from the fine - grained calcareous silt from the Loess Plateau and is carried down the river as it flows.
  • Flooding of the Yellow River has caused some of the highest in the history of the world e.g in 1931 the Huang He flood killing between 1 an 3 million people on the North China Plain.
  • The Yellow River floods for two reasons:- firstly because the North China Plain is very flat and there is no natural valley and secondly silt from the Loess Plateau makes the it difficult for the river to drain.
  • This is a old ancient poem about the Huang He River;
    On the heron tower the sun beyond the mountains glows.
    The Yellow River seawards flows.
    You can enjoy a grander sight By climbing to a greater height.


  • sports boat
  • cruisers
  • ferries
  • police boat
  • wars ships
  • submarines
  • junk boat
  • water taxi
  • rafts
  • tour boats
  • house boats
  • sea planes

water use

The water from the Yellow River is used for irrigation by millions of farmers who own farms along its banks. However,many crops are being destroyed by the chemicals and sewerage being pumped into the river and, as the photo below shows this is causing incredible problems for farmers who rely on selling their produce in order to earn a living for their families.The animals in the water are also contaminated with the pollution and need fresh clean water. Farmers also need the fish for food. Fishing is a hobby of some farmers. Major cities like Shanghai is needing to provide drinking water for its millions of people the Yellow River basin
is depended on providing 4 million people. Some farmers have to walk 3 to 4 kilometres in order to get fresh water because the water in the Yellow River is fast becoming too contaminated for suitable for drinking and to some extent farming.

This is the pollution in theYellow River


There is an abundance of wildlife living in and on the banks of the Huang He River that includes - Yellow flamingos, yellow parrots and best of all yellow ducks there are also koi, gold fish turtles and common fresh water fish.
More than 30 percent of fish species in the Yellow River have become extinct, Chinese government officials reported this week. "There used to be more than
150 species of fish living in the Yellow River, but one-third have disappeared for good. The water is so heavily polluted that if people drink from the river they could die.

The koi is the most common fish in China and due to pollution its numbers are decreasing rapidly.


1. Through how many provinces does the Huang He River run through?

2. Which river is the longest river in China?

3. What is the total length of the Yellow River ?

4. Where is the source of the Huang River ?

5. What sea does the Yellow River empty into?

6.How much waste was reportedly found in the Huang He river in 2010?
a) 20 tonnes
b) 3.5 tonnes
c) 3.67 tonnes
d) 4.29 tonnes

7. What is the most common natural disaster that has killed millions of Chinese people who lived on or near the Huang He river?
a) cyclones
b) flooding
c) dought
d) earthquakes
e) swine flu
f) tornadoes

Yellow River

In the misty fog
the water glows
and wild life springs so fine
the sprouts of plants
and the splash of fish

As flow of time drifts past
The destruction of machines
and the debris of draining pipes
no one will see the beauty of me
as destruction wipes through my veins

As power rages through my brain
my friends are full of drain
the pain of revenge
boils in my blood

Destruction bounds me
polluted water surrounds me
tsunamis floods droughts
Who will save me ?

by Felix Lee-

Here are some links

Yellow Rivers pollution Yellow River flooding one of the waterfalls in the Yellow River Hukou Falls of the Yellow RiverYellow River Music Farming and water use from the yellow River

A song about the Yellow River