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China to reinforce unsafe reservoirs

Updated: Nov 20,2020 20:20 PM

Premier Li Keqiang stressed that existing unsafe reservoirs should all be reinforced before the end of 2025, and that newly discovered ones should be strengthened in a timely manner, during the executive meeting of the State Council on Nov 18.

The meeting heard reports on risk-removal and reinforcement of unsafe reservoirs, and called on efforts to expand effective investment to enhance capacity in disaster prevention and water supply.

Reservoirs are vital for flood control and disaster relief, water supply and agricultural irrigation, Premier Li said. As China's existing reservoirs were mostly built from the 1950s to the 1970s, many of them have gradually become unsafe, despite the fact that about 72,000 reservoirs have been reinforced in recent years, added the Premier.

"This year in particular, China has encountered relatively severe floods compared with other periods in history, and many reservoirs, especially the small ones, have been impacted. Reinforcement and risk control of the unsafe reservoirs have become a top priority," the Premier said.

"We have talked much about building irrigation and water conservancy infrastructure for winter, and now in November, the time is ripe for more focus on this task of reservoir risk removing and reinforcement."

Premier Li stressed efforts to improve the management system, enhance local administration and departments' supervision and guidance, and make good use of funds subsidized by central government in reservoir reinforcement.

"Effective investment refers to those that benefit both the present and the future, and greatly support economic growth, and reservoir reinforcement is among them," the Premier said. "With this extensive reservoir reinforcement, related departments should enhance the market mechanism, and expand effective investment by driving more local capital and private investment."

Premier Li also urged efforts to build monitoring and early-warning facilities, improve the regular management and protection mechanism, in order to ensure safe operation of reservoirs to benefit the people.