Yellow River's water and sediment discharge decreasing steadily



The amount of water and sediment discharged by the Yellow River in northern China has been decreasing steadily over the past 20–25 years, such that in recent years it has contributed relatively little sediment to the Gulf of Bohai. This is quite at odds with the well-known story in which the Yellow River has been regarded as a primary contributor of fluvial sediment to the global ocean.

If the trend of decreasing discharge continues, the environmental and economic impacts to the Yellow River delta and adjacent coastal waters could be dramatic. Already shrimp harvest from the brackish waters of the western Gulf of Bohai has decreased markedly, and there has been considerable coastal retreat along parts of the delta.