Minister Chen Lei, on behalf of the Ministry of Water Resources, extend his sincere greeting and New Year wishes to all cadres and workers in water sector, and people who cares about and supports water development and reform!
The year of 2016 marks the beginning for the implementation of 13th Five-Year Plan, and a special year for water development and reform.
Over the past year, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, a good start has been seen in water management and governance for implementing the 13th Five-year Plan, by forging ahead with determination, making pioneering efforts and innovations, overcoming difficulties and adhering to a down-to-earth working style.
In 2016, we withstood severe tests from catastrophic floods, successfully reduced damages from the largest flood in the Yangtze River Basin since 1998; the second catastrophic flood in the history of Taihu Lake; strong rainstorm flood in Haihe River Basin; eight super typhoons and hurricanes; local floods, mountain torrents and debris flow, and made great achievements in flood control, rescue and relief, and safeguard the people's lives and properties to the largest extent.
In 2016, we maintained a strong momentum in water management and governance for the people's livelihood, as evidenced by 21 new major water conservation and water supply projects, more than 800 billion Yuan invested in projects under construction, 21.82 million mu of new high-efficiency and water-saving irrigation area and over-fulfillment of the annual tasks set forth in the government work report, indicating that water conservancy has played a more prominent role in economic and social development and people's welfare.
In 2016, we accelerated the pace in water conservation, protection and management, launched the action for controlling total water consumption and intensity, national water conservation initiative and water efficiency pacemaker action; strengthened water function zoning, interconnecting of rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and ecological restoration.
In 2016, we have realized key breakthroughs in water development and reform. With promulgation of Opinions on All-roundly Advancing the River Chief System as a milestone, strategic measures are proposed for implementing reform in the water field. Fruitful results had been obtained in reinforcement of law and high-tech innovation in the water field.
Over the past year, upsurge in water governance and rejuvenation happened frequently, effective management and water governance have provided strong support and guarantee for the sustainable and healthy development of China’s economy and society.
The year of 2017 is crucial for the implemention of the 13th Five-Year Plan and deepening the structural reform in supply-end.
We shall, under the principles of “combining prevention, defense and relief actions but letting prevention playing the leading role”, “combination of conventional and unconventional disaster relief measures”, build mitigation system for flood, drought and typhoon, and secure life of people and water security in both urban and rural areas.
We shall center on construction of key water conservancy works, post-disaster restoration measures, implement water-saving programs and improve water infrastructure network.
We shall implement stringent water resource management system and action plan for water pollution prevention and treatment, and make efforts to increase production and efficiency, reduce consumption and emission for water conservation and advancement of a water-saving society.
We shall give priority to ecology, and environmentally-friendly development, take comprehensive measures for water source protection and soil conservation, as well as ecological protection and restoration and finally realize harmony between people and water.
We shall play a pioneering role in reform, implement river chief system, improve investment and financing system, water pricing mechanism, management of water projects and strengthen law-based governance and management and innovation with introduction of new technologies.
We set out a new journey in the new year and must realize new transcendence. Let’s jointly compose a new chapter in water governance and rejuvenation in 2017.