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The Water Pollution Prevention and Control Plan for Major River Basins (2016-2020) released

MEP, NDRC, and MWR jointly printed and distributed the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Plan for Major River Basins (2016-2020) (hereinafter referred to as the Plan) recently.

As the fifth-phase specific five-year plan targeting water pollution in major watersheds, the Plan provides guidance for local water pollution control, based on the previous achievements and experience accumulated in a long time in water pollution control in China. The aim is to break down and implement the targets, requirements, tasks, and measures provided for by the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, and the emphasis is placed on the improvement of water environment quality. The Plan holds on to the systematic thinking of implementing holistic solutions to the protection of the mountains, waters, forests, farmlands, lakes, and grasslands and makes overall plans for the preservation of water resources, water ecology, and water environment. Also, based on the control unit, it provides for the tiered, and zoning-and category-specific management of river basins.

The Plan accounts for the seven major waters (Yangtze River, Yellow River, Zhujiang River, Songhua River, Huaihe River, Haihe River, and Liaohe River) for which water pollution control planning is needed under the aforementioned Action Plan, in addition to the rivers in  Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, and the rivers in southwest and northwest China. It breaks down the water quality targets set forth by the Action Plan and allocates them to the specific basins, and defines the priorities for water pollution control in those basins. Moreover, it specifies the priorities for water environment protection of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and Yangtze River Economic Belt. It is the first plan targeting water pollution in all of the major river basins across China. The Plan screens out 580 priority control units out of a total of 1,784 ones, with 283 of them destined for improving water quality and the remaining 297 ones for preventing further water deterioration. It provides for the main control tasks of priority control units and implements graded and category-specific delicacy management.

The Plan lays out five key tasks ranging from prevention and control of industrial pollution, municipal pollution, agricultural and countryside pollution, ecological conservation of river basins, and environmental security of drinking water sources. Also, it identifies five categories of major projects ranging from tackling water pollution at drinking water sources, from industries, agricultural sector and in the countryside, to municipal wastewater treatment infrastructure development, and integrated water environment management.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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