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Current Policies And Practices Of Water Resources Management In China

Congress: 2015

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 1: Water supply and demand,
Abstract 1. Background Water shortage has been constraining China's sustainable development. In 2011, the central government issued the "No.1 Document" and convened a conference on water conservancy of the highest level ever, clarifying that The Most Stringent Water Resources Management System (MSWRMS) should be implemented as the major strategic measure to combat water shortage in China. 2. Main Content of MSWRMS "Three red lines" and "Four systems" constitute the core of MSWRMS, which are designed to achieve a balance between economic and social development and the bearing capacity of water resources. The red line for controlling water resources development and utilization clearly states that up to 2030, total water consumption nationwide should not exceed 700 billion cubic meters by defining the maximum amount of water consumption of various river basins, regions, sectors, and water users. The red line for raising water efficiency sets water efficiency targets for various regions, sectors, and water-consuming products. By 2030, water use efficiency for every 10 thousand yuan of industrial added value should be reduced to 40 cubic meters; and the effective utilization coefficient of irrigation water should be improved to above 0.6. The red line for controlling pollutant discharges in water functioning zones puts a cap on the total amount of major pollutants into rivers and lakes. Up until 2030, water quality compliance rate of water functioning zones in rivers and lakes should be raised to above 95%. Responsibility and performance appraisal system of water resources management. Indicators of water resources development, utilization, conservation and protection are incorporated into the comprehensive evaluation system for local economic and social development. Strict assessments will be carried out accordingly. 3. Features of MSWRMS First, MSWRMS sets sustainability as the goal to address the problems of water shortage, water pollution, water ecological degradation, etc, in order to promote sustainable use of water resources and sustainable social and economic development. Second, it covers the whole water resources management process. The "three red lines" support each other by focusing on water abstraction, use and discharge respectively. Third, it takes advantage of multiple implementation measures. Administrative and economic measures, science and technology, publication and education are being comprehensively motivated to strengthen management of water resources evaluation, water permits, water use on payment basis, water quota, water rights and water pricing. Forth, cross-sector coordination and public participation are also emphasized to enhance communication and coordination among sectors, improve public participation mechanisms, and promote scientific and democratic decision-making of water resources management. Fifth, the leading power of the government will be further unleashed and water market cultivated to reasonably allocate water resources through market mechanism. Sixth, it attaches great importance to the rule of law and institution. Improving laws, policies and regulations, and reinforcing water resources management system will be resorted to implement the three red lines. 4. Effectiveness of MSWRMS Implementation First, the breaking down of the red line indicators on provincial, municipal and county levels has been basically completed. Second, new progress has been made in building national, river basin and regional monitoring platforms, thus basically forming three major monitoring systems, covering important water users, significant water functioning zones and provincial sections respectively. Third, remarkable achievements have been made in pilot areas in implementing MSWRMS. 5. Looking Ahead Advanced concepts and experience on water resources management is needed to further strengthen public participation, land and water resources planning and management, risk management, etc. so as to make this policy more suit China's water management situation. IN CHINA
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin