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China invested $167b last year in water resources management

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2024-03-05 14:14
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China saw investment in water resources management reach a historical high in 2023, as it strove to address water resources-related problems of public concern, said Li Guoying, minister of water resources.

Li made the remark in an interview following the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress on Tuesday.

Almost 1.2 trillion yuan ($166.7 billion) of investment was made for water resources management projects across the country last year, up by 10.1 percent year on year, he noted.

With a focus on the most pressing, most immediate issues that concern the people the most, the ministry managed to accomplish a total of 41,014 projects, the minister said.

He listed flood control, water supply, irrigation and ecological conservation as the top four priorities of these projects.

Li said 13,083 projects were carried out in basins of the country's eight major water bodies, including the Yangtze, the Yellow River and the Huaihe River, to enhance their flood control systems.

The investment for these projects, many of which are for constructing reservoirs, dikes and flood storage basins, reached 328.2 billion yuan, he stated.

He said 8,039 projects with a total investment of 220.4 billion yuan were implemented to strengthen ecological conservation of major rivers.

"The main goal of these projects are to restore the vitality of rivers and bring river basins back to life," Li said.

In the interview, the minister also highlighted the ministry's efforts to promote the construction of a national water network.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council issued a guideline for shoring up the construction of the network in May last year.

By 2025, China will develop a batch of major projects concerning the network and strengthen efforts to shore up the weak links in water resources allocation, urban and rural water supply, flood control and drainage, water ecological protection, and smart water networks, according to the document.

The guideline also set up some long-term goals extending to 2035, including seeing a national water network taking shape, creating water networks at the provincial, municipal, and county levels, and fostering a national water security system that meets the requirements of realizing socialist modernization.

Li said the ministry has hammered out detailed plans and planned a series of projects as it forges ahead with the key tasks listed in the guideline. A coordination mechanism has been established to promote these projects.

"With proactive efforts to strengthen implementation and promote these projects with well-conceived and systematic steps in accordance with laws and regulations, we will ensure all goals and tasks for the national water network accomplished as scheduled," Li said.

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