Ministry of Water Resources held the press conference on “World Water Day” and “China Water Week”
On March 21, 2017, the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) of the PRC held a press conference on the 2017 “World Water Day” and “China Water Week”. Li Ying, Chief of the Department of Policies, Laws and Regulations, MWR, made an introduction to relevant situation and was joined by Liu Weiping, Chief of the Department of Construction and Management and Shi Qiuchi, Deputy Chief of the Department of Water Resources in answering questions from reporters.
March 22 marks the “World Water Day” and also the first day of “China Water Week”. The theme of “China Water Week” this year is “to carry out the concept of green development and comprehensively promote river chief system”. MWR held the press conference today to introduce related information and answer questions from reporters.
March 22 marks the 25th “World Water Day” and the start of the 30th “China Water Week”. Since the Water Law of the People’s Republic of China was promulgated and executed in 1988, to publicize and implement the law, MWR established the period from July 1 to 7 each year as “China Water Week”. On January 18, 1993, the 47th session of the UN General Assembly made a resolution, establishing March 22 each year as “World Water Day”. As the purports and the contents of the two are basically the same, schedule for “China Water Week” was changed to March 22 to 28 each year since 1994. The theme the UN determined for this year’s “World Water Day” is “Wastewater”, and the promotion theme for China’s “World Water Day” and “China Water Week” campaign this year is “to carry out the concept of green development and comprehensively promote river chief system”.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has been attaching great importance to river and lake management and protection work. On October 11, 2016, General Secretary Xi Jinping chaired the 28th meeting of the Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, deliberating and adopting the Opinion on Comprehensively Promoting the River Chief System. After the release of this document, MWR worked with related departments to strengthen implementation and local Party Committees and governments took swift actions and spared no efforts in advancing various work on establishing river chief system according to the central unified deployment. Seen from the general picture, the work on comprehensively promoting the river chief system has a good start.
One, swift mobilization and deployment. Ten ministries and commissions held joint video conference to implement central document requirements. These ministries and commissions include MWR, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Land and Resources, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the State Forestry Administration.
Two, formulation of implementation plan. MWR and the Ministry of Environmental Protection jointly issued an implementation plan for executing the Opinion on Comprehensively Promoting the River Chief System, requesting such regions as Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi and Hainan which have implemented river chief system within the whole province (city) to comprehensively set up this system before the end of 2017 and other provinces (regions and cities) to do so before the end of June, 2018. The aim is to ensure the comprehensive establishment of river chief system by the end of 2018.
Three, establishment of supervision mechanism. MWR set up a leading work group for advancing river chief system with Minister Chen Lei acting as the head. MWR also established a supervision and inspection mechanism featuring coordination by ministerial leadership, provincial work management by departments and bureaus and regional work management by river basin institutions. Meanwhile, work on comprehensively promoting river chief system has been included in the toughest water resource management system assessment. Between March 2 and 12, MWR dispatched 16 groups to conduct the first supervision and inspection towards 31 Chinese provinces (regions and cities) and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
Four, establishment of inter-ministerial coordination mechanism. The State Council approved to establish inter-ministerial joint conference under MWR coordination.
Five, full utilization of river basin institutions. Changjiang Water Resources Commission of the MWR formulated a work supervision and inspection system for comprehensive promotion of river chief system so as to strengthen supervision, inspection and technical support towards work on comprehensively promoting river chief system by provinces within the river basin. Huaihe River Commission of the MWR, Haihe River Water Conservancy Commission of the MWR and Pearl River Water Resources Commission of the MWR developed work plans for promoting river chief system and set up leading work groups for promoting the system in order to, in priority, well coordinate the work of river chiefs across provinces and provincial boarders, and carry out good supervision and inspection. Taihu Basin Authority of the MWR issued the Guiding Opinion on Advancing and Taking the Lead in the Comprehensive Establishment of the River Chief System in Taihu Basin.
Six, establishment of information submission system. The General Office of the MWR and the General Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection jointly issued a document, establishing the information submission system for work on river chief system. Provinces (regions and cities) should submit implementation progress information on a ten-day basis in each month.
Seven, exchanges and training. MWR held special training session for work on river chief system, offering specific solutions to difficulties and problems for each region during implementation. MWR also held symposium for advancing work on river chief system in Huaihe River Basin as well as training session and on-site exchange conference for work on this system in Taihu Basin so as to study ways to quicken related work on river chief system.