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No 1 Document for 2011 (full text)

CPC Encyclopedia

Decision from the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Accelerating Water Conservancy Reform and Development

(December 31, 2010)

Water is the origin of life, the essence of production and the basis of ecology. Water conservancy and flood control are instrumental to human survival, economic development and social advancement. They are always issues that make a difference in national governance. To promote steady and relatively rapid long-term economic development, boost social harmony and stability and win new victories in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, we must be determined to accelerate water conservancy development, enhance the supporting and guarantee capacity of water conservancy and achieve sustainable use of water resources. Serious floods and droughts that frequently hit our country in recent years have resulted in major losses of life and property and exposed serious weaknesses in water conservancy infrastructure, including farmland irrigation and drainage. Water conservancy development must be strengthened vigorously. Efforts must be stepped up in water conservancy development. The following decisions are hereby made in respect of accelerating water conservancy reform and development:

1. Strategic Position of Water Conservancy in the New Situation

(1) New situation facing water conservancy. Since the birth of P. R. China, in particular after the reform and opening up policy was introduced, the Party and the State have paid consistently high attention to water conservancy and led nationwide efforts to advance the water conservancy drive ambitiously. These efforts have delivered remarkable outcomes and made significant contributions to economic and social development and people’s well-being. It must be noted that, however, limited water resource per capita and uneven distribution of water resources, by either time or space, are basic national conditions of China with regard to water. Frequent floods and droughts remain a great concern for the Chinese nation; the sharp imbalance between water demand and supply is still a major bottleneck on sustainable development; backward development of farmland water conservancy remain the biggest barrier to solid agricultural development and national and food security; Vulnerable water conservancy facilities are still an obvious weaker area of national infrastructure. As industrialization and urbanization are going deeper and global climate changes are having a bigger impact, China is faced with a more severe situation in water conservancy. Demand is increasingly urgent for improved capacity of disaster prevention and mitigation; saving and protecting water are becoming increasingly burdensome; reducing the agricultural vulnerability to natural disasters is becoming increasingly challenging. In 2010, the extraordinary drought that hit the southwestern region, the flood spreading across the majority of provinces, and the serious landslides in a few areas remind us that we cannot afford any delay on the effort to accelerate water conservancy development.

(2) Status and role of water conservancy in the new situation. Water conservancy is the primary element of agricultural development, the basic foundation for eco-social development and the assuring system for bio-environmental improvement. It is of a strong public, fundamental and strategic nature. Accelerating water conservancy reform and development is not only a matter of developing agriculture and rural areas, but also a matter of eco-social development overall; it is not only relevant to flood control, water security and food security, but also relevant to economic, ecological and national security. Water conservancy shall be put higher on the agenda of the Party and the State to expedite farmland water conservancy efforts and promote leapfrog development of water conservancy.

2. Guidelines, Objectives and Principles of Water Conservancy Reform and Development

(3) Guidelines: Thoroughly implement the guidelines of the 17th CPC National Congress and the Third, Fourth and Fifth Plenums of the 17th CPC Central Committee, follow the guidance of the Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of the "Three Represents" and comprehensively implement the Scientific Outlook on Development. Put water conservancy high on the priority list of national infrastructure development, include farmland water conservancy in the priorities of rural infrastructure development and regard strict management of water resources as a strategic move to expedite transformation of the economic development mode. Emphasize science-based and law-ruled water governance, highlight development in weaker aspects, strengthen water conservancy for people’s welling, continuously deepen the water conversancy reform, step up efforts to build a water efficient society, promote sustainable development of water conservancy and strive to develop a China-specific pathway towards modernization in respect of water conservancy.

(4) Objectives: The marked backwardness in water conservancy development will be fundamentally reversed in five to ten years. By 2020, the flood and drought control and relief system will be basically established, key cities and flood protection areas will significantly improve their capacity of flood and drought control and, during the 12th Five-year Plan period, the rehabilitation of major sections of key small- and medium-sized rivers (including tributaries of large rivers, rivers flowing directly into sea and inland rivers) will be completed, and small-sized reservoir reinforcement and the early warning system for landslide venerable areas will be completed; the system of reasonable allocation and efficient use of water resources will be basically established, annual water consumption across the country will be controlled within 670 billion m3, urban and rural probability of water supply will be significantly increased, the water consumption per unit of RMB 10,000 domestic product (GDP) and per RMB 10,000 industrial value added will be reduced markedly, the efficiency of the efficiency factor of farmland irrigation water will be increased to 0.55 or higher and, during the 12th Five-year Plan period, the effective irrigation area of farmland will increase by 40 million Mu; the system of water resource protection and river/lake health assurance will be basically established, the water quality will be significantly improved in water function areas of major rivers and lakes, sources of urban water supply will meet all quality criteria, soil erosion will be effectively controlled in key areas and over-extraction of groundwater is basically contained; systems and mechanisms conducive to development water conservancy sciences will be basically established, the water resource management system designed to the most stringent standards will be basically established, the mechanism for steady growth of water conservancy investment will be further improved, the water tariff mechanism conducive to conservation and reasonable allocation of water resources will be basically put in place, and the virtuous mechanism of water conservancy projects will take basic shape.

(5) Principles: Firstly, give priority to people’s welling. Efforts shall be focused on the most practical issues of the greatest and most direct concern to the general people in respect of water conservancy, so as to promote water conservancy development oriented towards people’ well-being. Secondly, maintain sound coordination and balancing. Emphasis shall be placed on combining utilization and control, balancing prevention and relief efforts, tackling problems at root and at surface, and promoting coordinated development of watersheds and regions, urban and rural areas as well as Eastern, Central and Western regions. Thirdly, maintain harmony between water and people. Natural and social laws shall be followed to pursue reasonable development, optimal allocation, comprehensive conservation and effective protection of water resources. Fourthly, adhere to the government-led mode. The public finance shall play an assuring role in water conservancy development. Synergies shall be produced through collaborative efforts of the government and the community in water conservancy and food control. Fifthly, continue reform and innovation. Efforts shall be stepped up to make breakthroughs in priority areas and key aspects of water conservancy and break system and mechanism barriers to water conservancy development.

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