Investments benefit water management

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, January 14, 2023
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A total investment of almost 1.09 trillion yuan ($162 billion) was made across China to develop projects for water resources management in 2022, up 44 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

This is the first time the country has seen such investment surpass 1 trillion yuan in a year, Wang Daoxi, vice-minister of water resources, said at a news conference on Friday.

In early 2022, the ministry planned to invest 800 billion yuan building water management projects during the year. But the country had seen the investments reach 823 billion yuan by the end of September.

The large-scale development "has played a significant role in ensuring stable domestic investment and boosting employment", the vice-minister said.

Over 2.5 million workers were employed in the development, including almost 2.1 million people from rural China, he said.

The number of newly launched projects for water resources management in 2022 reached 25,000, an increase of 4,135 from the previous year, he said. Of those, 13 have a planned investment of 10 billion yuan.

Wang also noted significant growth in funds it raised for water management projects.

Almost 1.16 trillion yuan was collected across the country last year, 44 percent more than 2021, he said.

He said 203.6 billion yuan was raised through government bonds, roughly 1.5 times that of the previous year.

The vice-minister emphasized the ministry's resolute determination to promote water management investment this year.

The ministry will "roll out firm, forceful, solid and effective measures, as it strives to maintain the scale and progress of water management project construction", he said.

Chen Mingzhong, director of the ministry's department of rural water resources and hydropower, said one of the priorities of water management investment in 2022 was to improve irrigation facilities to enhance food security.

The construction of eight new major irrigated areas was started in 2022, he said. Once completed, they are expected to benefit more than 486,000 hectares of farmland.

He said about 37.9 billion yuan was invested to expand and renovate 529 medium and large-scale irrigated areas in 2022. Thanks to the investment, over 10,000 kilometers of irrigation channels were built or renovated.

These projects employed about 103,000 migrant workers, he added.

Amid the rare drought in the Yangtze River Basin last year, the complete systems in many of those irrigated areas played key roles in mitigating the impacts of the drought and reducing losses, he said.

Such irrigated areas guaranteed water supply to 11.3 million hectares of farmland in affected regions.

"Despite the drought, the basin saw a bumper harvest of grain," he said.

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