Shaanxi Provincial River and Reservoir Administration

Interview with Shaanxi Provincial River and Reservoir Administration.

1.What is the vision and mission of your organization?

Shaanxi Provincial River and Reservoir Administration, developed from Shaanxi Provincial Sanmenxia Gorge Reservoir Administration,specializes in the management of Wei River in Shaanxi Province. Our mission is to take charge of the administrative law enforcement for the course of Wei River.

To be specific, our tasks include the following:

  • Formulate integrated plans and other related plans of Wei River, and implement them;
  • Organize to carry out preparatory work of both provincial and important transprovincial water projects;
  • Prepare annual plans for provincial water projects related to Wei River and implement them;
  • Organize to conduct the evaluation,development, utilization,saving and conservation of Wei River water resources;
  • Participate in the draft of water allocation scheme and annual water regulation plan, and implement them;
  • Organize to formulate the flood control plan of Wei River.
  • Organize and implement the construction and management of flood control projects of Wei River;
  • Manage the embankments of main streams in reservoir areas and carry out researches on the hydrology and sediment;
  • Take charge of routine tasks related to river course management projects of Wei River basin;
  • Manage rivers and reservoirs within Shaanxi Province;
  • Handle the other tasks assigned by the Provincial Water Resources Department.

Our organization has six functional divisions, including Administrative Office, Division of Planning and Financial Audit and Division of Law Enforcement. There are five subordinate units, including those for Weinan Section river affairs and Section and the hydrological work for the reservoir area. The administration is also responsible for managing six entities, such as Shaanxi Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Group Co., Ltd,Shaanxi Reconnaissance Design & Research Institute of Water Environmental Engineering, and Shaanxi Co., Ltd of Scientific and Technological Development of Fulvic Acid.

Our vision is to improve the harmony between human and water and contribute greatly to the fast, healthy and coordinated economical and social development of Shaanxi Province.

2.Why did you decide to become a GWP Partner?

In Shaanxi Province, in the past, it is mainly the water sector that determines the water management mode. The local governments along the rivers, water users and people concerned with sustainable development of rivers have been rarely consulted. Thus, our management for Wei River has yielded little success. By comparison, the IWRM concept proposed by GWP emphasizes the integrated management of water resources, mobilizing diverse stakeholders, and further improves the harmony between human and water. We agree with GWP on such a concept of water resource management. In order to gain more public efforts and attention to Wei River, make full use of the platform set up by GWP for equal dialogues and communications across different departments and industries, improve the public awareness on "knowing about Wei River, paying attention to Wei River, publicizing Wei River and taking care of Wei River" and mobilize the public to take conscious actions, we decided to join GWP China (Shaanxi).

3. What have you found to be the benefits of being a GWP Partner?

As a GWP partner, we have participated in activities organized by GWP China and co-organized some activities as well. We have benefited a lot from GWP regarding the thoughts, measures and methods on water management.

First of all, our ideas about water resources management have been innovated. The mission of GWP is to improve the integrated management of water resources. GWP aims to "improve the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of ecosystems and the environment". Learning from GWP, in managing the Wei River, we let ourselves guided by the new idea that diverse departments should be involved, concerns of stakeholders get to be listened, and opinions from all corners should be collected.

Secondly,our thoughts are broadened. We have learned experiences of reference for the management of Wei River through learning from materials offered by GWP, especially the introduction of experiences from other countries in the IWRM Toolbox.

Finally, our organization has been better known. Shaanxi Provincial River and Reservoir Administration is the sole provincial river basin administrative organization. It has a short history and low level social recognition, and the performing of functions is accordingly limited. But through holding fora with GWP China Shaanxi, our organization has been better known. The relevant organizations, local governments along the river banks,universities and colleges, research institutions and people concerned with Wei River were invited to fora.In addition, CNWEST.COM made a live coverage of the forum.

4. What is one challenge facing the management of water resources in your area of expertise?

We are the administrative organization of the river basin, whose responsibility is to maintain the health of the river and improve the health of people according to two principles: harmony between human and water and harmony between human and nature. The main challenges we confronted with are to better coordinate the relationship between economical development and water demand and that between sectoral interests and water.

5. Are there any special projects or initiatives that you would like more widely known?

Wei River is the largest tributary of the Yellow River and it is the mother river of Shaanxi Province. Along with the global climate change and great increase of demands for water resources by economic and social development, the problem that the Wei River has relatively less water resources with uneven distribution in time and space has increasingly become serious. This fact thus aggravates the contradictions among water, human and project construction in the Wei river basin, which calls for the integrated management of the water resources. We make full use of the role that WPs have played in setting up an equal dialogue and communication platform across different sectors and industries and carry out series of activities to maintain the health of the Wei River. Four Wei River fora have been held with different themes in order to call for the public to pay attention and to take care of the Wei River.

The successes of the Wei River fora have evoked strong repercussion among the society. People's enthusiasm to take care and protect the Wei River has become unprecedentedly high, which has pushed forward the integrated management of water resources of the Wei River basin and promoted the smooth implementation of  "The Management Plan of Wei River Basin" approved by the government. To be specific:

  1. Firstly, the "Two Water Diversion Projects and Four Reservoirs" have been implemented and it will effectively alleviate the inadequate supply of water resources in the Wei River basin.
  2. Secondly, the "Two reservoirs and one diversion Project"(Dongzhuang Reservoir, in the Guxian Reservoir and the water diversion from Yellow River to Yulin City) are under preparation.
  3. Thirdly, the implementation of  "the Water Regulation Plan for the Yellow River" has been pushed forward.
  4. Fourthly,the successes of the Wei River fora have also urged the local governments to carry out measures to take responsibilities of pollution prevention and treatment in their administrative regions.

We are always ready to accept new concepts and ideas regarding integrated water resources management in the river basin and put them into practice. We have gained some experiences and achievements that would like to share with all partners.