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18 May 2005

Mott MacDonald wins £6 million DFID project to help China implement sustainable water resources management

Mott MacDonald has been awarded the DFID-funded Water Resource Demand Management Assistance Project (WRDMAP) to be implemented by the Chinese government through the Ministry of Water Resources. The project aims to support the reforms required by the 2002 Chinese Water Law – which has been enacted to, amongst other aspects, improve livelihoods through equitable access to and sustainable use of water resources, particularly for poorer people.

Water scarcity combined with over-exploitation of the available resources threatens China’s sustainable development. Rapid economic growth has led to over-commitment of available surface water resources, overdraft of groundwater resources in many areas and unreliable access to water – all affecting the livelihoods of many particularly rural and poor people and especially in northern China.

Mott MacDonald, with support services from international associates, local consultants and institutes will be providing advisory services including institutional strengthening, promoting awareness programmes and the introduction of improved systems for water resources management and water demand management. Integrated water resources management, river basin management, demand management and the creation of examples of water saving society will be key elements of the project.

The £6 million project will involve developing and implementing pilot studies for the first three years in the two target provinces of Gansu and Liaoning, with the results and water resources management improvements generated over this time being reformulated for broader dissemination, both within the two provinces and also throughout China during the remainder of the project.
The project will be completed in 2010.

Notes to the editor:
1.Organisations providing support to Mott MacDonald on this project include: - HTSPE; DHI Water & Environment, Oxford Centre for Water Research; International Water Law Research Institute, University of Dundee; Stone & Webster Consultants.

2.In 2001, we helped China’s Ministry of Water Resources in updating China’s Water Law, focusing on four priority topics: water allocation, rights and permits; river basin water management systems; water use efficiency and conservation; and protection of water resources from pollution.

3.Case studies being carried out include:

The Central Case Study: Documentation and nationwide promotion of best practices in IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) will be implemented by Department of Water Resources (DWR) within the Ministry of Water Resources. The case study will provide direction and guidance to Gansu and Liaoning provinces on interpretation of the 2002 Water Law and its application in the case studies in the two provinces. DWR will monitor implementation and when observing good practices it will assist the case study teams in presenting the information in formats that are suitable for dissemination, promotion and replication nationwide.

Case study Gansu 1: IWRM planning for Shiyang River Basin (SRB) will apply the IWRM principle of water resources management in the context of a river basin. The planning process will be used to develop the mandate of the newly formed Shiyang River Basin Management Bureau (SRBMB) and strengthen its organisation. The case study will introduce international practices for river basin organisations, build commensurate capacity in water resources planning and management at the river basin level and encourage communication with municipalities, Wuwei and Jinchang Municipalities being selected as the case study examples.

Case study Gansu 2: Water saving societies in Wuwei and Jinchang will assist Wuwei and Jinchang Municipalities, which are the principal administrative units within SRB, regulating water use within their administrative boundaries in order to achieve a long term sustainable balance between the available water resources, the current use of water and the projected future demands for water.

Case study Gansu 3: Shared water management in Minqin) will assist Minqin County and Water User Associations in selected rural communities to develop a model for increased community and user participation in management of water resources and water delivery as close to users as possible particularly related to irrigation water usage. The area suffers from severe groundwater overexploitation and encroaching desertification.

Case study Liaoning 1: IWRM planning for the upper Daling river basin will assist Chaoyang municipal Water Affairs Bureau (WAB) to apply IWRM planning in the upper Daling river basin, which mainly lies within the municipality. The case study will focus on the planning functions of a large municipal WAB in the absence of a river basin organisation. The case study will develop the communication channels upward with the provincial Water Resources Department, horizontally with other municipalities and downwards with counties and communities in the municipality.

Case study Liaoning 2: Integrated water abstraction and wastewater discharge permitting in Chaoyang) will assist the municipal WAB and Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) integrating the permitting of water abstractions and wastewater discharges. The process aims to strengthen the sense of shared responsibility for regulation of water use in accordance with the objectives for functional use of water sources and receiving waters as defined in the river basin planning and pollution control.

Case Study Liaoning 3: Water tariff reform and efficiency in Beipiao will assist Beipiao County WAB, Beipiao Water Supply Company (WSC) and selected urban communities to develop a model for sharing of responsibilities and functions in the future management and delivery of urban water supply services. The model will be developed as part of a program for tariff reform and water savings in the WSC with a strong focus on institutional development.

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