Ministry ups funding for water projects
Updated: October 12, 2022 07:34 China Daily

The country will strive to ensure a total investment of over 1 trillion yuan ($139 billion) in water conservancy development this year, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

Vice-Minister Liu Weiping announced the new target at a news conference on Oct 11, as the ministry has surpassed the previous target of making 800 billion yuan in such investments.

From January to September, a total of 823.6 billion yuan had been directed into developing water conservancy projects across the country, up 64.1 percent from the same period last year, he noted.

He said the ministry has also achieved two other targets — to start construction on at least 30 of the 55 major water conservancy projects the country has planned to develop and six new large-scale irrigated areas — which were set earlier this year in an executive meeting of the State Council, the country's Cabinet.

As of the end of September, the number of water conservancy projects under construction reached 37,700, the total planned investment for which stands at 1.9 trillion yuan, he added.

"The accomplishment of the three targets three months ahead of schedule has made significant contributions to stabilizing macroeconomic performance and improving people's well-being," he said.

He said roughly 2.1 million people have been employed over the projects, including over 1.7 million laborers from rural China.

Zhang Xiangwei, head of planning at the ministry, said water resources authorities across the country have intensified efforts to broaden financing channels this year to meet the investment demand for water conservancy development.

Aside from seeking increased investments from local governments, they also strived to get more funds from government bonds, loans, and private capital.

The ministry, for example, managed to collect 189.6 billion yuan from local government bonds, which is 1.5 times that in the same period last year.

He said flood control infrastructure, water supply networks, ecological remediation, and hydrological monitoring facilities are among the priorities in water conservancy development.

About 372.5 billion yuan of the investment that has been made this year, for instance, is for the construction of water diversion projects, water sources, irrigated areas, and reservoirs.

According to the ministry, the country saw 802.8 billion yuan of investment in water conservancy development in 2021, an increase of 4.2 percent from the previous year.

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