The Weihe River is the mother river of the far-flung Guanzhong region in Shaanxi Province, which covers an area of 135,000km2. Since ancient times, the river has played a very important role in the development of Shaanxi. With the fast economic development in Weihe River Basin in recent years, many problems have arisen.
These include increasing water resources scarcity, water pollution and regional ecological environment deterioration caused by sedimentation in the Sanmenxia reservoir region (which is located in the middle-stream and downstream of Weihe River). These problems have seriously constrained the socio-economic development of the region.
The Weihe River Basin Integrated Management Plan (WRBIMP) was developed based on the principles and approaches of IWRM, with the participation of many sectors. Management tools such as water resources assessment, environment evaluation and formulation of IWRM models were applied. The Plan is supported by society and raises broad awareness through public media. It is approved by the Chinese government and is supposed to be implemented from the year 2006.
The planners come from 19 organisations including the department of water resources, soil and water reservation, agriculture, meteorology and environment protection, and universities, research institutes and non-governmental organisations. Such participation ensures the cross-sectoral dialogue during the planning process and reflects the principles of IWRM.
Importance of the case for IWRM
The significance of this case is the promotion of public participation and gradual improvement of the market economy system that serve to facilitate institutional guarantees for the more integrated approaches towards IWRM.