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Spending on water management hits record

By HOU LIQIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-06 09:02
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Chinese Minister of Water Resources Li Guoying gives an interview after the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on March 5, 2024. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]

China's investment in water resources management hit a record high of nearly 1.2 trillion yuan ($166.7 billion) last year as it strove to address public concerns, Minister of Water Resources Li Guoying said.

In an interview following the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress in Beijing on Tuesday, he said investment in water resources management projects had risen 10.1 percent year-on-year.

With a focus on people's most pressing and immediate concerns, the ministry completed 41,014 projects, the minister said, listing flood control, water supply, irrigation and ecological conservation as the top four priorities.

Li said 13,083 projects were carried out in the basins of the country's seven major rivers, including the Yangtze, Yellow and Huaihe, and Taihu Lake to enhance flood control systems.

The investment in those projects, many of which involved the construction of reservoirs, dikes and flood storage basins, reached 328.2 billion yuan.

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

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

Li 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, China's Cabinet, issued a guideline to shore up construction of the network in May last year.

Li said the ministry has hammered out detailed plans for a series of projects as it forges ahead with the key tasks listed in the guideline, with a coordination mechanism established to promote them.

"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 are accomplished as scheduled," he said.

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