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China sets stricter rules for water usage

02-16-2012 18:57 BJT

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China is to execute its strictest rules yet for managing water resources. At a state council press conference this morning, an official said the new system will help the country achieve sustainable growth.

Chinese people may soon feel the ripples of new water-saving rules in the coming days. The ministry of water resources has called the country’s resource situation "grave".

To address the problem, the State Council unveiled a guideline on Thursday to regulate the use of water under "the strictest criteria," capping the maximum volume of water used by the end of 2030 at 700 billion cubic meters.

The guideline requires China to work at keeping its total volume of water use below 670 billion cubic meters by 2020. The government will also tighten supervision over exploitation of underground water, further protect drinking water sources, and restore the aquatic ecological system by introducing water-usage licenses and other measures.

Chen Mingzhong, director of Ministry of Water Resources, said, "The new regulations are based on the national water usage plan. The detailed planning started ten years ago. Several thousand water experts were involved in the project. We’ve put into consideration both economic and natural factors. And after seeking advice from all the provinces, we’ve set up the current limits and management system."

About two-thirds of Chinese cities face water shortages, while nearly 300 million rural residents lack access to safe drinking water. The average per capita water resources in China is only 2,100 cubic meters, or about 28 percent of the world’s average level. The central government has planned 4 trillion yuan or about 635 billion U.S. dollars of investment in conservation projects over the next 10 years.

Hu Siyi, deputy minister of water resources, said, "Unless we take decisive and compulsory measures to stop the over-exploitation activities, the water shortage will get worse in the future."

China faces an even tougher situation in the future. Demand for water is increasing due to growing industrialization and urbanization. But officials hope the new management system will help the country strike a balance between economic growth and protection of nature.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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