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Premier Li urges concerted effort in flood prevention

Updated: Jul 10,2020 20:30

Local authorities and related departments should carry out decisions from the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, stick to the people-first principle and fulfill their duties in flood prevention and disaster relief to safeguard people’s lives and security, Premier Li Keqiang stressed at the State Council's executive meeting on July 8.

It was determined at the meeting that further efforts should be made to improve work in flood prevention and disaster relief and push forward construction of major water conservancy projects.

The accumulative precipitation nationwide saw a substantial year-on-year increase and an unusual concentration, which caused disasters in certain areas. Many southern regions will continue to suffer torrential rainfalls, and the rain belt will go north as forecasted, the Premier noted.

"Flood season is in full swing in both southern and northern regions, hence flood prevention work will reach a critical juncture," Premier Li said. "Departments concerned in all regions should fulfill their duties under President Xi Jinping’s important instruction on flood prevention and disaster relief."

Flood precaution, prevention, and disaster relief

All stakeholders should carry out their obligations, and those responsible for flood prevention at all levels should work on the frontline and strengthen monitoring and early warning with good coordination, the Premier said.

Flood prevention work in large river valleys should be implemented. Meanwhile, efforts should be made to step up flood precautions in small and medium river valleys, reinforcements in small and medium reservoirs, and urban water-logging prevention.

"Flood prevention in valleys of the Yellow River, Huaihe River, Haihe River, and the Songliao Basin should be deployed, as flood prevention facilities in these northern regions are relatively weak due to a low incidence of heavy floods," the Premier said.

He also stressed multi-pronged measures in flood precaution, prevention, and disaster relief:

First, efforts should be made in preparing for flood detention areas, improving pre-arranged evacuation plans, and relocating vulnerable residents in a timely manner.

Second, with a unified consultation mechanism in place, all departments should prepare flood-prevention materials, beef up patrols and guards in reservoirs and dikes, and scientifically dispatch major flood prevention projects.

Third, support in materials and funds should be boosted to help regional governments in relocating disaster-hit residents, conducting restoration projects, and getting back to local production. Measures should also be taken to prevent drought and cope with drought-turned-flood cases in certain regions.

Water conservancy projects important for livelihoods, development

The arrangements for 150 major water conservancy projects were studied at the meeting, with emphasis on flood control, disaster relief, optimization of water resources allocation, water ecology protection, and restoration.

"The construction of water conservancy projects will not only attract investment and help rural workers find jobs at home, but also will enhance the capabilities of preventing floods, droughts, and other disasters," Premier Li said.

"These projects have been contemplated for years, and those that are ready for construction should be kicked off at an early date and accelerated."

Based on market-oriented and law-based principles, efforts should be made to deepen reforms on investment and financing mechanisms, expand equity and bond financing, and quicken the construction of water conservancy projects by leveraging market-oriented reforms.

The meeting also called for water rate standards and charging system, and a reasonable reward plan.

Premier Li said water is one of the top demands for rural people, especially in poor areas, thus constructing major water conservancy projects is important for both livelihoods and development, as well as a key part of construction of new infrastructure, new urbanization, and major projects.