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SCIO press conference on water management and national water security

China.org.cn | September 25, 2023


China Daily:

The report of the 20th CPC National Congress has put forward that we will implement a comprehensive conservation strategy, conserve resources of all types and use them efficiently. Could you please share what achievements the MWR has made in implementing the guideline of "prioritizing water conservation" and the national water conservation actions? What are the upcoming initiatives? Thank you.

Chen Mingzhong:

Thank you for your questions. In April 2019, following a review by the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the MWR jointly released a national action plan for water conservation. Since the introduction of this plan, the MWR has adhered to and implemented a guideline of "prioritizing water conservation," collaborating with 20 State Council departments to establish a water conservation coordination mechanism. Together with the NDRC, we have issued detailed plans for specific departmental responsibilities. Furthermore, we have directed 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities to create provincial-level plans. These plans promote six primary actions: dual control of the total amount and efficiency of water usage, agricultural water-saving and efficiency enhancement, industrial water-saving and emission reduction, urban water-saving and loss reduction, water-saving and exploring new water sources in key areas, and a focus on technological innovation. Related systems and mechanisms have been deeply refined and various tasks were implemented and produced positive results.

By implementing the national action plan for water conservation, China has significantly enhanced its water-use efficiency and brought more beneficial results, leading to a marked improvement in societal awareness about water conservation. In 2022, water consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP decreased by 33%, and water consumption per 10,000 yuan of industrial added value decreased by 50% compared to 2015. The effective utilization coefficient of irrigation water in farmlands increased from 0.536 in 2015 to 0.572. The country's total water consumption was maintained at under 600 billion cubic meters, fully meeting the primary annual objectives outlined in the plan. This has yielded notable social, economic, and ecological benefits, paving the way for broader developmental opportunities through water conservation. 

Going forward, we will carry out a comprehensive conservation strategy, fully implementing the inter-departmental coordination mechanism for water conservation. We will strengthen coordination among departments and localities, continuously implement the national action plan for water conservation, establish and refine water-saving policies and regulations, enhance supervision and management of water conservation, develop water-saving industries and technologies, raise the public's awareness of water conservation, and vigorously promote water-saving across society. Thank you.

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