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Trans-provincial compensation mechanism: a new path for China's water environment protection

01-30-2012 16:49 BJT

Imagine a river flows across two neighboring provinces. The upriver province will be financially rewarded if it ensures quality river water for the lower province; otherwise, it will pay the lower one as compensation.

This kind of trans-provincial mutual ecological compensation trial is now taking place between Anhui and Zhejiang, China.

The two provinces on Sunday jointly kicked off a project to monitor water quality in the Xin'an River, which originates from the city of Huangshan, Anhui province, and runs into Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang, the main source of drinkable water for Zhejiang province and the strategic reserve reservoir for the lifeline Yangtze River Delta.

The move marks the first time a cross-provincial water protection mechanism has been in actual mechanical operation, said Lie Weiping, head of the bureau for protection of Xin'an River.

"If the water offered by upper Anhui has a quality higher than the basic standard, Zhejiang should render compensation for Anhui, while Anhui should pay compensation to Zhejiang if the water quality is lower than the standard," Lie explained.

In order to protect the Xin'an River water environment, Huangshan city and other regions in Anhui had been wary of accepting new industry, paying a heavy price in terms of slow development with delayed industrialization and urbanization.


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