China to invest $608b in water projects

08:21, January 31, 2011      

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Efforts will be intensified to promote water conservation as well as the sustainable use of the precious resource, and the task will be a multi-trillion yuan national priority, a central policy document said.

The country will invest 4 trillion yuan ($608 billion) into projects during the next decade to improve water conservation, Chen Xiwen, director of the office for the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's Leading Group on Rural Work, said on Sunday.

He made the remarks at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office on Sunday, a day after the CPC central authorities issued their first document of the year on Saturday.

The country aims to double its average annual spending on water conservation over the next 10 years compared to the 200 billion yuan investment in 2010, according to the document, also known as the No 1 document.

The government will also encourage loans to, and private investment in, the water sector to ensure funding for conservation, it said.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council regularly release the No 1 document at the beginning of each year to address government priorities.

This is the eighth consecutive year that the No 1 document has addressed rural issues, but it is the first to focus on water conservation.

"Floods and drought in recent years