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August 14, 2023   
China's No.1 Central Document for 2011

No.1 Central Document;Water Conservancy

On Accelerating Water Conservancy Reform and Development

On January 29, 2011, the Central Government of China released the No.1 Central Document for that year, mandating an acceleration in the development of water resources. This seeks to substantially boost the support and security provided by water resources, achieving sustainable use. The document sets out a target to essentially establish a flood and drought disaster reduction system by 2020; to strive to control China's annual water consumption within 670 billion cubic metres, significantly reduce the water consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP and per 10,000 yuan of industrial value added, raise the effective use coefficient of irrigation water in farmland to above 0.55, add 40 million mu of effective irrigation area during the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" period; to notably improve the water quality in main rivers and lakes, to ensure all urban water sources meet quality standards, to effectively manage soil erosion in key regions, to largely curb over-extraction of groundwater; to establish a stringent water resource management system, to further improve a steadily increasing investment mechanism in water resources, to establish a pricing mechanism that favours water conservation and rational distribution, and to form a benign operation mechanism for water projects.

The document emphasises strengthening the construction of weak links such as agricultural water conservation.

Vigorously develop agricultural water resources.By 2020, the main tasks of water-saving renovations for large and key medium-sized irrigation areas should be basically completed. Upgrade and renovate large and medium-sized irrigation and drainage pumping stations, reinforce key waterlogged areas, and perfect the irrigation and drainage system. Speed up the construction of small agricultural water projects in key counties, promote the construction of drought and flood resistant farmlands to high standards. Build medium and small-scale water conservancy facilities according to local conditions, and aggressively develop water-saving irrigation. Actively develop dry farming and steadily promote water resources in pastoral areas.

Accelerate the management of small rivers and reinforcement of small reservoirs. The management of small rivers should prioritise those prone to flood and drought disasters, with densely populated protection zones and critical protection targets. Strengthen embankments, dredge, and ensure managed river sections basically meet national flood prevention standards. Consolidate the results of hazard removal and reinforcement of large and medium-sized reservoirs, expedite the hazard removal and reinforcement of small reservoirs, swiftly eliminate reservoir safety hazards, restore flood storage capacity, and enhance water resources regulation capability. Promote the hazard removal and reinforcement of large and medium-sized hazardous sluices. The prevention and control of flash flood geological disasters should combine engineering and non-engineering measures, expedite the establishment of a monitoring and early warning system combining specialists with the general public, and accelerate disaster prevention, evacuation and key management.

Prioritise resolving engineering water shortages. Markedly improve the utilization of rain and flood resources and water supply guarantee capacity, basically addressing the water supply issues of water-scarce towns and more populated villages.

Enhance flood and drought emergency response capabilities. Promptly establish a comprehensive flood and drought emergency management mechanism. Strengthen monitoring and early warning capabilities. Establish emergency rescue teams combining professional and social forces, improve emergency plans. Construct a series of emergency water sources for drought resistance. Scientifically develop and use airborne cloud water resources.

Continue to promote the construction of rural drinking water safety. By 2013, address the planned rural drinking water safety issues, and basically solve the drinking water issues of the newly identified rural population without safe drinking water during the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" period.

The document requires a full acceleration of water conservancy infrastructure construction.

Continue to manage major rivers. During the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period, prioritise the construction of a number of watershed flood control pivot water projects, continuously improving flood storage capability. Enhance urban flood prevention and drainage engineering, raising urban drainage standards. Promote sea dike construction and cross-border river management.

Strengthen water resources allocation project construction. Build a series of backbone water source projects and river-lake system connection projects, enhancing water resource regulation and supply guarantee capabilities.

Conduct soil and water conservation and aquatic ecological protection. Implement national key soil and water conservation projects, adopt comprehensive measures for small watershed management, silt dam construction, sloping farmland treatment, afforestation, and ecological restoration to effectively prevent and control soil erosion.

Rationally develop water energy resources. Coordinate flood prevention, irrigation, water supply, power generation, navigation, and other functions, scientifically develop plans, actively develop hydropower, strengthen water energy resource management, standardise development permissions, and reinforce hydropower safety supervision.

Reinforce hydro-meteorological and water conservancy science and technology support. Strengthen the construction of hydro-meteorological infrastructure, perfect the water conservancy science and technology innovation system, establish and improve water industry technical standards. Promote the construction of water conservancy informatisation, strengthen international exchange and cooperation in water conservancy.

The document calls for the establishment of a steadily increasing investment mechanism in water conservancy.

Increase public fiscal investment in water resources. Mobilise funds from multiple channels, striving to double the average annual investment in water conservancy from the whole society in the next decade compared to 2010.

Enhance financial support for water conservancy construction. Utilise both fiscal and monetary policies comprehensively, guiding financial institutions to increase water conservancy credit funds.

Broadly attract social funds to invest in water conservancy.

The document calls for the implementation of the strictest water resource management system.

Establish a water consumption control system. Define the red line for water resource development and utilisation, promptly formulate the water allocation plan for major rivers, and establish a water consumption control index system.

Establish a water use efficiency control system. Accelerate the formulation of regional, industry, and water-use product water efficiency index systems, strengthen water use quota and planning management.

Establish a water function area pollution restriction system. Define the red line for pollution restrictions in water function areas, strictly verify the pollution capacity of waters, and strictly control the total amount of pollution entering rivers and lakes.

Establish a water resource management responsibility and assessment system. Major officials of local governments at and above the county level are responsible for water resource management and protection in their administrative areas.

The document requires continuous innovation in the water conservancy development system and mechanism.

Improve the water resource management system. Coordinate planning and implementation for urban and rural water supply, comprehensive water resource utilisation, water environment treatment, and flood prevention and drainage, promoting optimal water resource allocation.

Accelerate the reform of water conservancy project construction and management systems. Intensify the reforms to the state-owned water conservancy project management system, ensuring proper allocation for basic expenditures and maintenance funds for public and quasi-public water management units.

Strengthen the grassroots water conservancy service system. Using townships or small watersheds as units, bolster grassroots water conservancy service organisations, intensify public welfare functions such as water resource management, flood and drought resistance, farmland water conservation construction, and the promotion of water conservancy technology. Staff should be appointed according to regulations, with funding incorporated into county-level fiscal budgets. Vigorously promote the development of farmers' water usage cooperative organisations.

Actively advance water price reforms. Gradually introduce a progressive surcharge system for industrial and service water consumption, widening the price gap between high water-consuming industries and other sectors; adjust the water prices for urban domestic use in a reasonable manner, steadily introducing tiered water pricing systems; promote comprehensive agricultural water price reforms, with agricultural irrigation and drainage operation costs partially subsidised by the finance sector, and explore the introduction of a preferential water pricing system for farmers within set quotas, with progressive surcharges for consumption beyond these quotas.

Editor's Notes: English versions of reports and other files are for reference only; official Chinese version shall prevail in case of inconsistency. The WFP-China South-South Cooperation Knowledge Sharing Platform shall not be liable for any problems or difficulties that arise from the direct or indirect use, reproduction, or retransmission of the information contained in English versions. 

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