CHINA: MWR Revising River Basin Comprehensive Planning Ministry of Water Resources

2007-1-24  MWR will commence the revision of river basin comprehensive planning in full scale and plans to complete the revision of 7 major river basins in three years as the existing river basin planning can not meet the demand of river basin water resource management, according to Vice Minister of Water Resources, Dr.Jiao Yong in Janurary.


A survey of MWR has indicated that there were no river basin comprehensive planning in some important rivers in south China.  In thast case, MWR can not provide authoritive comments for flood control, water resources utilization and ecological protection in hydropower development in those areas which leads to irrational development of hydropower.

Contents of some river basin planning can not be refered to guide or constrain present water actitivities.  For instance, the Yangtze River Basin Comprehensive Planning approved in 1990s expected that total industrial sewage discharge would be 7.8 billion m3 by 2000, but in fact the real discharge has reached 21.6 billion m3 in 2000.  The Haihe River Basin Planning predicted that the water resources development extent would be 60% by 2000 in the basin but at
present the development has exceeded 100%.  

In addition, existing river basin planning can not accurately reflect changes in environment, economy and society.  The global climate change has influenced floods and droughts in river basins and large scale human activities also have obvious impacts upon vegetation, lakes and wetlands, etc.  The economic scale is 20 times of that when river basin planning was revised last time and load capacity of water resources and environment is challenged.

In such kind of background, MWR has decided to revise river basin comprehensive planning to maintain health of rivers and guarantee sustained water resources utilization.  Bottom line or red line which can not be touched should be
clarified in the planning, according to Dr. Jiao Yong.