Water is a vital component that sustains life on Earth. However, we are presently facing a growing global water crisis. Issues such as water scarcity, pollution, and water management have worsened due to climate change.
As the world's population increases and climate change generates the growing threats to human security, water should be put at the center of the global agenda.
China's Four Principles of Water Management
As one of the most populations countries, China is the country with the most severe water issues among major economies. We can learn from how this nation implements a comprehensive approach to water management.
Alongside the government actions, researchers and academics also play a critical role in supporting water sector goals. academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), Prof. Wang Hao, share his ideas on China's four principles of water management:
1. Prioritizing Water Conservation
water conservation entails saving water before "other things" that involve three main aspects. First, we must determine the regional socioeconomic scale, development structure, and model from a water conservation perspective. Second, making water conservation a top priority ensures water security. Third, conservation efforts must be prioritized in water-related maintenance and interests.
2. Balancing Spatial Distribution
In order to address the uneven water availability, the government promotes the concept of "Balancing Spatial Distribution." They are presently developing a National Water Network aimed at river basins and balancing the spatial distribution of water resources based on network characteristics. These projects include enhancing distribution chains, optimizing infrastructure layout, structure, and water maintenance functions, forming a national water network unit gradually.
3. Taking a systematic Approach
The government views water management control as a consideration of various ecological and natural social factors. They encourage interaction and collaboration between upstream, midstream, and downstream areas while enhancing the relevance, integrity, and synergy of water control measures.
Additionally, Prof. Wang Hao mentions comprehensive natural restoration as another governance method. Natural restoration should be a primary method, involving biological and microbial means to restore water quality.
4. Government and Market Roles
In the era of new water governance, prof. Wang Hao emphasizes that water governance should not only be seen as a means of societal well-being but should also scientifically control the interaction between the government and the market.
"We must focus on 'giving full play to the roles of both government and the market' to promote a better combination of an efficient market and a competent government," Prof. Wang Hao said.
The XVIII World Water Congress, under the theme "Water for All: Harmony between Human and Nature," is a global agenda which aims to accomplish the "Water Sector Goals" in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
This international congress is crucial for addressing the global water crisis and pollution while fostering harmony between humanity and nature. The XVIII World Water Congress offers an opportunity for mutual learning and sharing of the best practices in managing water resources.
Let us collectively lead our way towards the future of international ecological and environmental governance reform by participating in the XVIII World Water Congress, which will be held from 11th to 15th September, 2023, in Beijing, China. Please visit worldwatercongress.com, for more information.