BEIJING, (Xinhua) -- China Tuesday began to implement an ordinance to
regulate and control the water volume of the Yellow River, the second longest
river in the country.
This is China's first law on water volume control of the long rivers, said Li
Guoying, head of the Yellow River Conservancy Committee under the Ministry of
At a press conference of the Information Office of the State Council, Li said
the regulation is aimed to strengthen management of the water resources of the
Yellow River, realize sustainable utilization of the water resources, improve
the ecological environment along the river, and promote the economic and social
development of valley areas of the river.
The ordinance stipulates that the water volume of the Yellow River will be
under the unified control of the State. It also has specific stipulations on the
water allocation, regulation and control, emergency management, supervision and
The Yellow River, popularly known as China's Mother river, is the major water
resources for the northwest and northern China. The Yellow River plays a vital
role in China as it provides water for 12 percent of China's 1.3 billion people,
15 percent of China's farmland and more than 50 large and medium-sized cities.
However, the water level of the river changes remarkably in different years
and the river suffers a great imbalance of the water flow in different seasons
The Yellow River carries more silt than any other river in the world. It was
well known as a disastrous river as floods deprived of numerous lives in the
past 2,000 years.
The water volume in the river has been shrinking over the past years due to
climate changes and degradation of the environment. Some parts of the river were
dry for 21 times during the period from 1971 to 1999.
The source water of the Yellow River has dwindled by 23 percent more in the
past ten years than the average level in the previous 40 years in northwest
China's Qinghai Province, environmental officials said.
Li said China has taken measures to protect water sources and control the
total volume used by cities along the Yellow River, which prevented the river
from drying up over the past seven years.
The successful experience lays a solid foundation for the making of the
ordinance, Li added.