In recent years China’s development and economic growth has been rapid and phenomenal. The implication for managing the nation’s water resources is clear: an integrated approach is essential to ensure that economic and social welfare is maximized without compromising the environment.

Lower water availability and uneven distribution of water

China must deal with lower water availability per capita and the uneven distribution of water in both time and space. Water availability per capita in 2000 was estimated at 2,195 m3 (cubic metres), and will drop to 1,760 m3 in 2030 when the population reaches 1.6 billion. Precipitation in the summer months is up to 60-80% of the total annual precipitation. Although this is good for agriculture, it tends to result in droughts in spring, and floods in summer. In 2008, agriculture accounted for 62% of water use, industry 24%, urban domestic use 12% and the environment 2%.

High level meeting in China

Lead player in convening high-level roundtables

GWP China is a lead player in convening high-level roundtables bringing together stakeholders across sectors and ministries. GWP China facilitates these roundtables of governmental agencies at national, river basin and provincial levels to incorporate the IWRM approach into water-related legislation and development. In particular, the four Provincial Water Partnerships in Fujian, Hebei, Hunan and Shaanxi and the Yellow River Water Partnership add value through ‘neutral advocacy’. GWP China also uses its convening power to tackle issues of water security, sanitation, food, energy security and water disputes in the context of climate change adaptation.

Yellow River, China

Knowledge management

Through pro-active knowledge management, including a Chinese version of the GWP ToolBox (in progress), many stakeholders – water managers, water users associations, environmental NGOs, international organizations in China, the media, schools and universities – increase their knowledge of IWRM as it relates to China’s needs.

GWP China Partners and interregional cooperation

GWP China partners will establish new partnerships on demand. The range of financial partners will be widened to include civil society, as well as private and public sector organizations to secure funding for GWP China and its sub-national partnerships. Inter-regional cooperation with the GWP regions of Central Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia will continue to develop.

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