GWP China at the 10th World Water Forum

The largest international gathering of water stakeholders, held every three years, the 10th World Water Forum - 'Water for Shared Prosperity' - was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 18 – 25 May, as the culmination of a multi-annual political, thematic and regional preparatory process. It attracted 64,000 participants and visitors from 160 countries.

GWP China delegation engaged relevant themes of water allocations, water scarcity, financing and smart water management for climate resilience, transboundary water management for promoting peace, drought and early warning systems, among others.

I. Thematic Session: Creating water justice by incorporating human rights and environmental rights for sustainable practices related to improve water supply

May 20, GWP China hosted thematic session on water supply for a water justice, jointly with IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, and China Institute of Water Resources & Hydropower Research (IWHR). The session delved into the critical role of fair water allocation and water rights determination in resolving water conflicts and fostering harmonious coexistence among stakeholders for sustainable development.

                                                                                 Jia Yangwen

On behalf of GWP China, Jia Yangwen, regional coordinator delivered a keynote speech on “Practice of Water Rights and Water Allocation in the Yellow River Basin”. In his introduction, the Yellow River water allocation scheme was initiated in 1987. Regarding the contribution and outcomes of the Yellow River Basin management regulations, he said, “Remarkable effects include: 1) it guarantees consistent flows of the river even in dry-season over two decades; 2) it ensures supply for the economic demand at 30 billion m3 per year; 3) it helps improve eco-environment in the river mouth delta regions; 4) it facilitates water-saving society construction; 5) its lessons and experiences are shared with other water-stressed basins.”

                                                                              Alan AtKisson

GWP’s new Executive Secretary and CEO, Alan AtKisson, said on the session, “From listening to all the presentations, it became clear that allocating water fairly will get more difficult in the future, as scarcity and needs will both increase. So, we will need to get much better at doing that. It is a question that concerns policy, technology, and especially ethics: thinking more, together, well in advance, about how to do it inclusively, intelligently, and optimally. I learned a lot from this session, and it inspired me to want to learn more.”

                                                                                     Yin Chuming

Invited by GWP China, UNICEF China Youth Advocate, Yin Chuming, 14-year-old shared her comment on the session, “Achieving water equity and justice is vital to all children and young people's equal access to sufficient and clean water resources, as it can improve the living environment of rural youths, and ensure their healthy growth.” She added, “As a member of the young people, I believe that we can contribute our wisdom and solutions in two aspects: technological innovation and policy recommendations. Hope that while we advocate for water equity and justice, we should also consider the fairness and justice for young people and children. I hope that all the young people and children around the world can work together to create a future for water equity and justice!”

After the session, Jia Yangwen, GWP China regional coordinator, recalled, “it was unexpected to witness the meeting venue for 70 participants to be flooded by over 120 audiences. Panel was formed by youth and senior experts, male and female, exchanging their views on presentations and comments on diverse water allocation regulations and management tools in the world.”

II. Parliamentarian Segment (Plenary I, II, & III)

From 20 to 21, 2024, the Parliamentary Meeting formed a crucial part of the political process at the World Water Forum.

On behalf of the China’s top legal authority, Jiang Yunzhong, GWP China Secretary General & Commission Member of the Protection of Environment and Resources to the 14th National Congress of China, was invited to the Parliamentarian Segment and shared his voice on water with other counterparts.

                                                                              Jiang Yunzhong

In the address, he said, “the National People's Congress of China attaches great importance to water resources legislation. At present, China has formed a relatively comprehensive water law system, with 6 laws including water resources law, flood control law, water and soil Conservation law, water pollution prevention and control law, Yangtze River protection law and Yellow River protection law.”

While talking about the international cooperation and innovation of China in water community, he added, “through promoting the "Belt and Road" water cooperation, China has signed 72 bilateral cooperation agreements with 57 countries, and 10 multilateral cooperation agreements with 8 international organizations and more than 10 countries. We have established China-Europe platform at the water minister-level and actively participates in water-related cooperation in multilateral and regional platforms. Take the Mekong River as mentioned by Thailand just now. We have set up the Lancang-Mekong River mechanism for cooperation on water resources with Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Every five years, we formulate an action plan to carry out practical cooperation on information sharing, personnel training, and water supply security so as to protect this vital river.”

“China has promoted the Digital twin river-basin, Digital twin water-network, and Digital twin water-project. We promote the construction of the "sky and Earth" integrated monitoring system, and build a unified national database, research and develop a new generation of water professional model based on AI Technology with four functions of forecast, early warning, preview and plan. We enrich data, optimize algorithms and improve computing power. We conduct Digital mapping, intelligent simulation and forward-looking preview of the whole process of water management to provide scientific, efficient and safe decision support, so as to ensure national water security.”

Parliamentarians from around the world enjoyed this opportunity to promote legislation to address water scarcity, enhance parliamentary cooperation and diplomacy on expanding access to safe water, and mobilize action on water for global security and prosperity.

III. MoU between GWP and Publicity and Education Center (PEC) of China Ministry of Water Resources

MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION(MoU) was signed by Alan AtKisson, GWP CEO and Wang Houjun, PEC Director, in Bali, during the WWF10. Through the bridge of GWP China, two sides achieved collaboration framework to jointly promote:

  •  communication and education activities as well as cultural exchanges in the field of water resources,
  • exploration of new models of international cooperation in water education and cultural communication whenever suitable and in accordance with the respective organisations’ values and missions;
  • mutual learning in international exchanges on water education and water culture;
  • comprehensive and vivid image of water development in China and beneficial to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region of GWP interest;
  • share of water-related stories between China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region of GWP interest;
  • strong voice of water and enhance the international communications of water development and water culture.

It marked a committed cooperation on the construction of water resources communication, ideological and cultural development, and international exchanges, and to build a platform for communication, education activities, and cultural exchanges in the field of water resources, aimed at enhancing the international communication capacity of water resources communication and education, GWP and the Center of Publicity and Education of the Ministry of Water Resources of China.