The Yellow River Water Resources Research Institute

Interview with the Yellow River Water Resources Research Institute.

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

The Yellow River Water Resources Research Institute was established in 1950 under the Ministry of Water Resources. As the key non-profit scientific research institute of the water sector in China, it is a multi-disciplined and integrated scientific research institute centering at the river sediment research.

Our vision and mission is to put at the center the national water resources development and the demand of Yellow River harnessing and development and carry out related scientific researches. We aim at improving the scientific research on the Yellow River harnessing and provide technical support to the scientific and modern management of Yellow River harnessing and development.

After sixty years of efforts, the researches on river sediment, water and soil conservation, embankment safety and risk control have become our dominant disciplines.

Furthermore, a knowledge innovation system grounded on engineering mechanics, flood control and water management, water resources and water ecology, high technology, irrigation and water-saving technology, informatization of water management and measurement & control technology has been developed. Over 60 subjects are covered, such as basic theory of sediment movement, environmental evolution of Yellow River basin and control of sediment disaster, river bed evolution and river course rehabilitation, reservoir operations, estuarine evolution and restoration technology, digital simulation technology of rivers, soil erosion and simulation, biological engineering of water and soil conservation, monitoring and benefit evaluation of water and soil conservation, changes of Yellow River water and sand, water resources and water ecology and engineering material development and application. All these research work and research results have contributed to the stability and health of the Yellow River.

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

The Yellow River is a special river with chronic problems regarding the water resource management. For example, different sectors and departments have worked within closed environments and the tasks overlapped. The public participation in the water management, especially at the grass- roots level, is less. All these problems make it hard to organize and carry out the integrated water management. In 2005, with the support of Yellow River Water Conservancy Commission, GWP China Yellow River was established at the 2nd International Yellow River Forum.

Its working office is affiliated to Yellow River Research Association with the Head of the Association as the Chair of GWP China Yellow River. As a member unit of Yellow River Research Association, we consider that being guided by IWRM is significant for the development of our scientific research. Thus we decided to be a partner of GWP China Yellow River and contribute to water partnership.

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

For the past 5 years, we have participated actively in all kinds of GWP activities and we have benefited in the following ways.

First, the concept of IWRW has opened our mind.

Second, through participating the activities organized by GWP, GWP China and GWP China Provincial WPs, we have broadened our vision and learned experiences.

Third, We have held lots of academic seminars.This helps us to listen to voices from different corners, enhance our academic level and gain valuable suggestions, hence enables us to provide better technical support to the Yellow River’s water resources management.

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

The Yellow River runs through nine provinces/autonomous regions in the northwest and north of China. As the major water source of these regions, it is of significance for the sustainable development of both the economy and the society of this river basin. Thus the water resource management in the Yellow River basin is of the most importance for the coordinated development of society, economy and environmental protection.

The water resource scarcity in the Yellow river is very serious and can not be solved only by the management tool. Therefore there are lots of challenges and tricky problems regarding our water resources management research, for instance, the social coordination in water resources management such as the coordination of rights and benefits of different departments, the coordination of policies, laws and regulations and the coordination system in application.

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

We have carried out series of in-depth research on the current water issues of the Yellow River and provided technical support to improve the integrated water resources management of this river basin. For instance, we have launched researches on the unified dispatching of the main streams, ecological water volume, water and sediment regulation, environmental protection in the origin and mouth of the river, and the water diversion in the upstream of the river.We are willing to communicate and cooperate with other research institutes and partners and share our research results with them.