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Investment in water projects climbs

By Hou Liqiang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-15 07:36
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Part of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project runs through Nanyang, Henan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China invested 190 billion yuan ($27.7 billion) to build projects for water-resource management in the first quarter this year, up 76 percent from the same period last year, said Wang Daoxi, vice-minister of water resources.

The investment helped employ 700,000 workers, including 510,000 from rural areas, he said in a news conference on Friday.

The ministry managed to collect 407 billion yuan of funds for such investment from January to March, up by 15.6 percent year-on-year, he said.

Of the newly commenced projects, 11 are major ones of national level, said Zhang Xiangwei, head of the ministry's department of planning and programming.

One of the major projects, for example, is to further enhance water supply capability from Fujian province to the island of Kinmen in Taiwan province, he said. The project will help establish a water supply system with two sources and two diversion channels to guarantee water supply safety.

According to the ministry, total investment for the project will be about 3.1 billion yuan. Its construction is expected to last for 41 months.

Previously, a water pipeline connecting Fujian to Kinmen had gone into operation in August 2018. Last year, 20,900 metric tons of water was supplied to Kinmen via the pipeline per day, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"The country is now in a critical stage for economic recovery. Based on progress that has been made in the preparation work, the ministry will commence another batch of major projects in the second quarter," he said, citing a water supply project in Xiong'an New Area in Hebei province as one of the examples.

Zhang vowed consistent efforts from the ministry to proactively expand investment scale and accelerate the progress of projects under construction to help shore up confidence in economic development.

The ministry raised 56.7 billion yuan of funds for water resources development in the first quarter by issuing government bonds, up by 14.1 percent from the same period last year, he said. Bank loans contributed 73.3 billion yuan of the funds, more than two and a half times compared with the first three months in 2022.

Aside from intensifying its efforts to support local governments in issuing more government bonds, the ministry will take measures to help local water resources authorities and projects to communicate with financial institutions to get more loans, he said.

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