With the support of the Global Water Partnership Organization (GWPO) and the Ministry of Water Resources of China (MWR), GWP China Technical Advisory Committee (GWP China TAC) was established in November 2000 with the approval of the relevant governmental institutions. The GWPO has defined GWP China as a Regional Water Partnership.

In September 2006, GWP China organized the Partners Meeting in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province at which  the Statutes of GWP China was adopted thus a Regional TAC transformed into a Regional Water Partnership and the first Council of GWP China was founded by the democratic election. The second council was founded in the Second Partners Meeting of GWP China in May, 2009 in Changsha, Hunan Province. 
The third council members were elected on March 22, 2016.

The Secretariat of GWP China is hosted by the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) in Beijing.

GWP China has established the formal partnership cooperation relationship with 190 institutions and organizations, including the governmental organizations, research institutions, civil societies, universities and utilities.

The provincial/river basin level partnerships were also set up: GWP China Fujian was set up in October 2002, GWP China Hebei in October 2003, GWP China Shaanxi in June 2004, GWP China Yellow River in October 2005 and GWP China Hunan in April 2008.

In 2016, the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued the legal certificate to GWP China, receiving congratulations from of the Ministry of Water Resources,  host institute—IWHR,  and 190 regional partner members. By registering, GWP China adopts its statute in accordance with GWP vision, mission and development strategy, remaining its national and international strengths and features.

China Water Resources Strategic Studies (Chinese Name) and GWP China (English Name) are two brands but under the same leadership.  Based on strong and legal base in China, GWP China is able to organize the activities flexibly and also has larger free space in linking the national and international resources towards GWP goals and the SDGs in the future.